The starting grid for the 12 hours race is locked

The qualifying for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Sebring International Raceway was run Friday morning local time.

The 17 GTD cars were the first on the track.

Trent Hindman in Meyer Shank Racing Acura #86 was the only person to set a time under two minutes, so he grabbed Pole Position ahead of Robert Foley in Turner Motorsport BMW #96 and Pfaff Motorsports Porsche #9 with Zacharie Robichon in P3. It was Hindman’s first Pole Position in the IMSA series.

GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini #11 delivered a bit of surprise with Rolf Ineichen. Rik Breukers had an accident in practice before the qualifying, but the mechanics got the car put together again, and Ineichen qualified in an impressive fourth place, all things considered.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura #86
Photo: JJ Media

Next it was time for the GTLM cars.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing was the first to set some fast laptimes, but Porsche answered it right away. Corvette Racing started a bit slower, but both Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia found more and more speed in the cars and started to mix up with the Porsche and Ford cars.

After starting quickly, Ford fell back slowly but surely down the field. Richard Westbrook in #67 gave up and drove to the pits, while Dirk Müller in #66 kept trying, but it wasn’t enough to advance further up than eighth and last place in GTLM.

The 15 minutes qualifying ended up with Porsche #911 with Patrick Pilet on Pole, ahead of Laurens Vanthoor in #912, while Antonio Garcia in Corvette Racing #3 drove the car in third position. Richard Westbrook in Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #67 was fourth.

Porsche #911
Photo: JJ Media

BMW finished the quali sixth and seventh – with the exact same laptimes down to a thousandth! They were about half a second away from the Polesitter.

DPi and LMP2 were the last to do their qualifying.

Pipo Derani in Whelen Engineering Cadillac #31 was the first person setting a quick time amongst the DPi cars. The Acura Team Penske drivers then woke up and snatched 1-2.

Mazda Team Joest #77 with Tristan Nunez would also like to mix it up and sneaked in between the two Acuras.

The first three drivers pitted with four minutes left – and the confidence paid off because nobody could improve their laptimes.

So, Dane Cameron took Pole Position for Acura Team Penske #6, ahead of Tristan Nunez in Mazda Team Joest #77 and Helio Castroneves in Acura Team Penske #7. The best Cadillac was Mustang Sampling in P4 with Filipe Albuquerque. With the other Cadillacs on fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth positions. It was definitely not a good quali for them.

Acura Team Penske #6
Photo: JJ Media

Core Autosport Nissan #54 used the time as always to give Jon Bennett some extra laps in the car, so they hadn’t been a threat at any point.

In LMP2, we had a fantastic battle between Matt McMurry in PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports #52, which he shares with Anders Fjordbach this weekend, and Kyle Masson in Performance Tech Motorsports #38, where P1 changed every lap. It ended up with #52 taking the Pole with 0,011 second ahead of #38. Sadly, there are only these two cars in the LMP2 class this weekend.

PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports #52
Photo: JJ Media

Now the teams can relax in about 21 hours, before a short warm-up, and finally the race at 10.40 local time – or 15.40 CET on Saturday.

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