Renger van der Zande led Wayne Taylor Racing to pole position for the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona after edging out Helio Castroneves in the dying stages of a hard-fought qualifying session on Thursday afternoon, as Fernando Alonso secured 13th place for the start on Saturday.

Castroneves appeared to have pole position secured after going four-tenths of a second clear of the field in the #7 Team Penske Acura DPi, prompting the team to call him into the pits with less than one minute left on the clock.

Van der Zande was able to perfect the timing of his final run, though, allowing him to turn in a fastest time of 1:37.036 to edge out Castroneves by just 0.007 seconds, leaving the Brazilian to cut a dejected figure in the pit lane.

Filipe Albuquerque took third for Mustang Sampling Racing ahead of Pato O'Ward, who was fourth for Performance Tech Motorsports. Tristan Vautier rounded out the top five for Spirit of Daytona Racing.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso was handed qualifying duties by United Autosports in the #23 Ligier JS P217, but was unable to make up for the performance deficit of the LMP2 car compared to the DPi runners as the Spaniard finished 13th overall.

Alonso improved his lap times throughout the session, ultimately finishing with a best effort of 1:37.008, but never bothered the leaders as he finished nine-tenths of a second back from van der Zande's pole time.

Corvette Racing secured pole position in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class after Jan Magnussen was able to see off the challenge of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing's Joey Hand, who fell 0.019 seconds shy in the fight for P1.

After failing to get out early, Hand was able to improve throughout the session and put up a fight to early leader Magnussen, with the two Corvette cars working together to give a tow in a bid to improve their lap times.

Magnussen's lap of 1:42.779 was good enough for pole in the #3 Corvette C7.R ahead of Hand, while the Porsche duo of Laurens Vanthoor and Patrick Pilet took third and fourth respectively. Richard Westbrook took fifth in the #67 Ford GT, while Oliver Gavin failed to match Magnussen for pace in the sister Corvette, qualifying sixth in class.

Brazilian stock car champion and 2017 Le Mans class winner Daniel Serra stormed to pole position in GT Daytona for the Spirit of Race team, recording a new class lap record in the #51 Ferrari 488 GT3. Serra's time of 1:46.049 gave him P1 by four-tenths of a second, with Miguel Molina taking second late in the session for Risi Competizione.

Mirko Bortolotti rose to third with a last-ditch effort in qualifying, lapping six-tenths back from Serra in the #11 Grasser Racing Team entry to edge ahead of former IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth, who took fourth in class for 3GT Racing in the #15 Lexus RC F GT3.

2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Pole-Sitters

Prototype - #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R (Van der Zande/Taylor/Hunter-Reay)
GTLM - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R (Magnussen/Garcia/Rockenfeller)
GTD - #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 (Serra/Lamy/Lauda/Dalla Lana)