Blomqvist Scores Sixth Acura Pole of 2022
- Tom Blomqvist’s near-record run sees Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura ARX-05 on the pole for Saturday’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
- Ricky Taylor to start third for Wayne Taylor Racing as the two Acura teams duel for the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship title
- Gradient Racing NSX GT-3 Evo22 will start 14th in GTD
Setting a blistering pace around the challenging Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta road course, Tom Blomqvist claimed the pole for Saturday’s IMSA season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans sports car race in his Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05.
Acura’s sixth pole of the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship also solidified the Manufacturers’ Championship for Acura, which will become official with the drop of the green flag starting tomorrow’s 10-hour endurance contest.
Blomqvist’s pole lap of 1:08.555 was just a tenth of a second off the current track record; and sets the stage for a battle with fellow Acura racers Wayne Taylor Racing for the 2022 IMSA drivers’ and teams’ championships. The team with the better finish tomorrow will claim both championships in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype International (DPi) division.
In the production-based GTD class, an electronics issue resulted in driver Till Bechtolsheimer pitting the #66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo2 after only five laps. He will start 14th in the car he shares with co-drivers Mario Farnbacher and Kyffin Simpson.
Petit Le Mans Acura Qualifying Results
- 1st overall – #60 Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
- 3rd overall – #10 Ricky Taylor, Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
- 14th GTD – #66 Till Bechtolsheimer, Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
Tom Blomqvist (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05) pole qualifier, his third pole of 2022 and sixth pole for Acura: “We really needed to out-qualify the #10 [Wayne Taylor Racing Acura] to keep the pressure on them. Tomorrow is going to be fierce. It’s ten hours of ‘fighting in close quarters’. I have to be thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me such a great car today. It was fabulous, I really enjoyed every lap of qualifying. It was mega to be able to push the car to the absolute limit. This race is extremely difficult. It’s a short lap, and we’ve got 43 cars out there, so the traffic never lets up. Then going into the night [for the final hours of a race that ends at 10 p.m. EDT] makes everything even more difficult. But this is where champions are made, so hopefully we will come out on the right side of that battle.”
Ricky Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05) qualified third: “Good job to Tom [Blomqvist] and his team, they did a great effort today. I think there was a bit more time in our car today, but they put a lot of emphasis on qualifying today and it paid off. Now it’s a heads-up race between us and anything can happen. It’s a long race, and often comes down to the final hour.”
- This is the sixth IMSA pole of the season for Acura. At the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, Albuquerque and Taylor combined to win the qualifying race that set the starting field; and Taylor led another Acura front-row qualifying sweep at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Blomqvist scored consecutive poles at Watkins Glen International Raceway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park; followed by Albuquerque’s at Road America in August.
- Propelled by five wins this season, including Acura’s second consecutive victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Acura will clinch the 2022 IMSA Manufacturers’ Championship with the waving of the green flag Saturday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
- This is Acura’s third IMSA Manufacturers’ Championship in five seasons of prototype competition in IMSA’s premier DPi category. The other title years were 2019 and 2020.
- Acura and Wayne Taylor Racing also won the Michelin Endurance Cup in 2021 for results scored in the four long-distance races on the schedule: Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.
- The 2022 Drivers’ and Team’s DPi championships will be decided between the two Acura ARX-05 teams: Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) and Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR).
Where to Watch Saturday’s Petit Le Mans
Live network television coverage from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta begins at 12 p.m. ET Saturday for three hours on NBC. Coverage then returns from 7 p.m. ET to the finish on USA Network. Live streaming flag-to-flag race coverage will be available on NBC Peacock.
Fans can listen to audio commentary via IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and XM Radio; and follow the race live via in-car cameras, IMSA Radio and timing & scoring available worldwide on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile device App.
Acura Motorsports social media content and video links from Road Atlanta can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).