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Qualifying report
IMSA Sebring

Sebring 12H: Bourdais’ record lap earns pole in Ganassi Cadillac

Sebastien Bourdais broke the DPi lap record to land pole for tomorrow’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, heading a Cadillac lockout of the front row.

#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi: Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay

Sebastien Bourdais broke the DPi lap record to land pole for the IMSA SportsCar Championship's Sebring 12 Hours, heading a Cadillac lockout of the front row.

Bourdais, who won the race last year racing in the Cadillac DPi-V.R for JDC-Miller, delivered a 1m45.166s in Chip Ganassi Racing’s #01 car to eclipse the existing lap record by over two-tenths of a second, but shade his nearest opposition by only 0.026s.

Impressively, the top four cars were under the lap record, and covered by only 0.157s.

Bourdais took only two laps to warm up his tires and deliver his knockout blow to the opposition, ensuring the car he shares full-time with Renger van der Zande and, this weekend, former IndyCar rival Ryan Hunter-Reay, will lead the field to the green in the 70th Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Pipo Derani in the Action Express Racing #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, kept whittling away at Bourdais’ margin, until he was just two and a half hundredths slower.

Although he fell short, he still managed to get ahead of a very brave effort by Ricky Taylor in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05, which shaded Alex Lynn’s best effort in the second Ganassi Caddy by a mere couple of hundredths.

Mike Rockenfeller was 0.4s off pole in the second AXR entry, the Ally Cadillac, while Tom Blomqvist was a full second down in the Meyer Shank Racing Acura.

Tristan Vautier, driving the JDC-Miller Cadillac spun out of Turn 1 with 10 minutes remaining in qualifying session, dropping his right-side wheels off the course on corner exit, which sent the car back to the inside where it struck the Armco barrier. The impact wiped off the splitter and ended the session early for the defending race-winning team, consigning it to seventh on the grid.

Ben Keating did his traditional fine job to claim pole in LMP2 in the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry, with Henrik Hedman second for DragonSpeed but six-tenths slower.

He was nonetheless a tenth up on the second PR1 Mathiasen car, driven by Steven Thomas, while Dwight Merriman completed the top four in the Era Motorsport entry.

#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca LMP2 07: Ben Keating, Mikkel Jensen, Scott Huffaker

#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca LMP2 07: Ben Keating, Mikkel Jensen, Scott Huffaker

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

A genuinely exciting battle for LMP3 pole emerged as series newcomer Harry Gottsacker’s Muehlner Motorsports Duqueine battled with Gar Robinson in the Riley Motorsports Ligier and the similar car of Andretti Autosport, wheeled by Jarett Andretti.

The latter seemed to have put the matter beyond doubt with a 1m57.234s, at which point he was 0.376s ahead of the field, but Robinson fell less than a tenth short with his penultimate lap and wasn’t about to give up. He rode his bucking Ligier past the checkered flag with a 1min57.048sec, and although Andretti did his utmost on his final lap, he fell just 0.035sec short.

Their battle pulled them over half a second clear of Gottsacker who nonetheless pipped FastMD racing’s Max Hanratty to third, while Dan Goldburg of Performance Tech Motorsports and George Kurtz of CORE autosport was sixth.

Combined GT class qualifying was brought to a halt when John Potter’s Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage ground to a halt at Turn 10, causing a red flag. Six cars – the #66, #28, #21, #47, #42 and #97 – had to serve a drive-through penalty for lining up at pit exit to wait for the session to resume, which is not allowed under IMSA’s rules.

When the session resumed with barely more than five minutes to go, that sextet, after serving the penalty, would have just time to get their tyres to temperature and set one flying lap.

This was irrelevant to Daniel Serra, who delivered a 1m49.414s for Risi Competizione to put the #62 Ferrari 488 at the top of the GTD Pro times, a mere 0.017s faster than Mirko Bortolotti in the TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan.

Next up was Zacharie Robichon, who by being third overall in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R, was fastest of the GTD class, just 0.025s ahead of Robbie Foley in the Turner Motorsports BMW M4.

Russell Ward, who suffered a shunt yesterday, rebounded in impressive style to take third in GTD driving the Winward Mercedes AMG GT3, while Madison Snow was fourth in GTD, sixth overall, in Paul Miller Racing’s first event with a BMW M4.

Behind him in fifth was the Cetilar Racing Ferrari 488, Giorgio Sernagiotto proving fastest of the cars that had had to serve a drive-through penalty.

Third in GTD Pro, but eighth overall was Antonio Garcia in the Corvette C8.R, which IMSA Radio revealed has received a 20bhp boost, as IMSA fettles the Balance of Performance for a car that is only one race into its evolution as a GT3 machine.

Alex Riberas did his usual stout job in the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage to clock fourth best time in GTD Pro, ahead of Matt Campbell’s Pfaff Porsche, Aaron Telitz in the #14 Lexus RC F, and Nick Yelloly in the fastest of the works BMW M4s.

Sebring 12 Hours combined qualifying results

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 01 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Sébastien Bourdais
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'45.166  
2 31 Brazil Pipo Derani
United States Tristan Nunez
United Kingdom Mike Conway
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'45.192 0.026
3 10 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Will Stevens
DPi Acura DPi 1'45.301 0.135
4 02 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Switzerland Neel Jani
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'45.323 0.157
5 48 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'45.576 0.410
6 60 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
DPi Acura DPi 1'46.249 1.083
7 52 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
United States Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'49.954 4.788
8 81 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
Colombia Sebastian Montoya
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'50.592 5.426
9 11 United States Thomas Steven
United States Josh Pierson
United States Jonathan Bomarito
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'50.732 5.566
10 5 France Tristan Vautier
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Loic Duval
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'51.338 6.172
11 18 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'51.584 6.418
12 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
United States Dylan Murry
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'51.679 6.513
13 8 Canada John Farano
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Portugal Rui Andrade
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'51.890 6.724
14 20 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'52.507 7.341
15 22 United States Jim McGuire
United Kingdom Guy Smith
Duncan Tappy
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'53.209 8.043
16 74 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Kay van Berlo
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'57.048 11.882
17 36 United States Jarett Andretti
Josh Burdon
Colombia Gabby Chaves
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'57.083 11.917
18 6 Efrin Castro
Germany Moritz Kranz
Ugo De
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'57.610 12.444
19 40 United States Max Hanratty
Todd Archer
Canada James Vance
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'57.719 12.553
20 38 Daniel Goldburg
Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Australia Cameron Shields
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'58.087 12.921
21 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
United States George Kurtz
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'58.717 13.551
22 62 Brazil Daniel Serra
Italy Davide Rigon
Italy Eddie Cheever III
GTD PRO Ferrari 488 GT3 1'59.414 14.248
23 63 Italy Marco Mapelli
Italy Andrea Caldarelli
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
GTD PRO Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'59.431 14.265
24 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Jan Heylen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'59.763 14.597
25 33 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Malthe Jakobsen
United States Lance Willsey
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'59.781 14.615
26 96 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
Michael Dinan
GTD BMW M4 GT3 1'59.788 14.622
27 57 United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
Germany Marvin Dienst
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'59.848 14.682
28 1 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
Sweden Erik Johansson
GTD BMW M4 GT3 1'59.898 14.732
29 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'59.917 14.751
30 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
GTD PRO Corvette C8.R GTD 1'59.927 14.761
31 23 United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Spain Alex Riberas
Belgium Maxime Martin
GTD PRO Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'59.957 14.791
32 9 Australia Matt Campbell
France Mathieu Jaminet
Brazil Felipe Nasr
GTD PRO Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'59.982 14.816
33 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD PRO Lexus RC F GT3 2'00.002 14.836
34 24 Austria Philipp Eng
Germany Marco Wittmann
United Kingdom Nick Yelloly
GTD PRO BMW M4 GT3 2'00.031 14.865
35 32 United States Mike Skeen
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
Spain Daniel Juncadella
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 2'00.176 15.010
36 21 France Simon Mann
Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Finland Toni Vilander
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 2'00.203 15.037
37 30 United States Ari Balogh
Canada Garett Grist
United States Dakota Dickerson
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 2'00.230 15.064
38 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United States John Edwards
Brazil Augusto Farfus
GTD PRO BMW M4 GT3 2'00.460 15.294
39 13 Canada Orey Fidani
Canada Kuno Wittmer
Germany Lars Kern
LMP3 Duqueine D08 2'00.487 15.321
40 93 Ashton Harrison-Henry
Canada Kyle Marcelli
United States Tom Long
GTD PRO Acura NSX GT3 2'00.605 15.439
41 7 United States Mark Kvamme
Canada Anthony Mantella
LMP3 Duqueine D08 2'00.624 15.458
42 28 United States Michael de Quesada
Canada Daniel Morad
Maximillian Goetz
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 2'00.919 15.753
43 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Julien Andlauer
Belgium Alessio Picariello
GTD PRO Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'00.951 15.785
44 59 Jon Miller
United States Patrick Gallagher
United States Paul Holton
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 2'01.287 16.121
45 66 Kyffin Simpson
United States Till Bechtolsheimer
Germany Mario Farnbacher
GTD Acura NSX GT3 2'01.352 16.186
46 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
Australia Scott Andrews
United States Richard Heistand
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 2'01.536 16.370
47 97 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Jules Gounon
Germany Maro Engel
GTD PRO Mercedes-AMG GT3 2'01.947 16.781
48 39 United States Robert Megennis
United States Corey Lewis
United States Jeff Westphal
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2'01.973 16.807
49 27 Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Ian James
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 2'02.271 17.105
50 42 United States Don Yount
United States Jaden Conwright
Guatemala Mateo Llarena
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2'05.834 20.668
51 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 0.000  
52 70 United States Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
South Africa Jordan Lee Pepper
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 0.000  
53 99 United States Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United Kingdom Stefan Wilson
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 0.000  

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