IMSA: Long Beach Day One Recap

April 19, 2024Ramon Jones

This weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Qualifying has concluded with Pipo Derani once again maintaining his recent form by claiming pole position for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was a good result for Cadillac with the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing finishing in first and the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R finishing third.

Derani said, “I put the lap in early and it was enough,” said Derani, who shares the car with Jack Aitken. “The last flying lap I requested the team not to talk over the radio. I came to the end a little bit quicker. I thought I’d try it to push an extra gap if necessary.

It starts to get a bit quicker. I locked up and went into the barriers. I had to come off the barriers quickly and had to remind myself how to get it done. I knew how important it was to get on pole here. We can swap the nose. A race here is so important to start on pole.”

Vasser Sullivan Finishes 1-2 in GTD

Vasser Sullivan put on a dominant performance in qualifying. The team finished 1-2 in the session ahead of third place No. 34 Conquest Racing Ferrari 296 GT3. Parker Thompson was the fastest of the Lexus drivers setting 1m17.357s lap. Thompson said,

There was a lot of pressure today,” Thompson said. “We did a qualifying simulation in Practice 2, and I thought we were going to have to work really hard for that pole. To be 1-2, I’m really proud and that just shows how good our Lexus is around the Grand Prix of Long Beach…But that’s only half the job, unfortunately,” he added. “They only give you a medal for pole, they don’t give you a trophy. Tomorrow is the big day.”

Saturday’s race that airs live at 4:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, Peacock and IMSA Radio.