|Olivier Pla's Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd|
Olivier Pla translated his domination of pre-event practice to his first TOTAL Pole Award, leading qualifying for Saturday's 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
The French driver ran a lap of one minute, 51.152 seconds (121.131 mph) on the challenging 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway circuit in the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2/Judd, earning the first TUDOR United SportsCar Challenge pole. The race is the second round of the Tequila PatrÃ³n North American Endurance Cup, which opened with January's Rolex 24 At Daytona and will continue with the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in June and Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta in October.
"I knew we have a very good package and a strong car," said Pla, who led three of the four practice sessions for the event. "It's always nice to start on pole, especially the pole at Sebring. Of course, 12 hours is a different story. I have done this race three times, and it was never easy. This is a very demanding track and we need to be very clever with our strategy."
Team owner Tracy W. Krohn has been with the Ligier project "since it was just on a piece of paper," and is very happy with his new car.
"[Ligier builder] Onroak Automotive did a great job delivering the car on time and on budget," Krohn said. "I felt good early in the week when Olivier said, 'The car is good.' Our thought process this year is to race this car over in Europe in the ELMS. But if we win here and get points for the Tequila PatrÃ³n North American Endurance Cup, that could change the thought process. This is a very competitive series, with great drivers and fantastic tracks. I don't remember when we won our last pole – it's been a long time."
Ryan Dalziel will start from the outside of the front row after running 1:51.455 (120.802 mph) in the No. 1 Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD co-driven by Scott Sharp and David Heinemeier Hansson.
Defending TUDOR Championship Prototype titlist Joao Barbosa was third fastest in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, running 1:52.128 (120.077 mph). He will co-drive with Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais. Ozz Negri – TOTAL Pole Award winner at the Rolex 24 – timed in fourth fastest, 1:52.170 (120.032 mph) in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Tire Kingdom Service Centers Ligier JS P2/Honda co-driven by John Pew and Justin Wilson.
Plowman Gives BAR1 Motorsports Second Consecutive PC Pole With Last-Lap Charge
Martin Plowman gave BAR1 Motorsports its second consecutive Prototype Challenge (PC) TOTAL Pole Award in dramatic fashion, once again at the expense of Colin Braun. The British driver ran a lap of 1:55.257 (116.817 mph) in the closing minutes to lead qualifying in the No. 16 Southwest Reality Advisors/Autosport Design Inc./Top 1 Oil ORECA FLM09 co-driven by Marc Drumwright, Tomy Drissi and David Cheng.
Johnny Mowlem put the No. 16 car on the pole for the Rolex 24, knocking Braun from the pole with a final lap flyer.
"It was a very difficult session," said Plowman, who learned he would drive at Sebring only nine days ago. "The cars are very difficult to drive. I told the team as long as they give me a fast car, I'll hustle it around and I'll get a good result. This is a very competitive class. Any time you can beat Colin Braun and the CORE autosport car, you know you're having a good day. Today when the car was at its peak, I hit every apex and the time appeared out of nowhere"
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Braun will start second after running 1:55.327 (116.746 mph) in the defending race-winning No. 54 CORE autosport Flex-Box/Composite Resources entry co-driven by Jon Bennett and James Gue.
Tom Kimber-Smith qualified third with a lap of 1:55.416 (116.656 mph) in the Daytona-winning No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA co-driven by Mike Guasch and Andrew Palmer.
The surprise of the session was Connor Daly. The son of two-time Sebring winner Derek Daly placed fourth with a lap of 1:55.748 (116.322 mph) in his first appearance in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ric Man Construction/GO-PUCK ORECA co-driven by Jerome Mee and James French.
"You can tell how competitive this class is," Daly said. "It's certainly close. We're about four-tenths from pole and we're fourth. It's good to be close; we just missed it by a bit. It was just nice to see where we stacked up. Now we just focus on the race."
Fans can follow the action in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida flag to flag. Coverage begins on FOX Sports 1 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., before moving to FOX Sports 2 from 12:30 -7 p.m., IMSA.com from 7-10 p.m., and finishing on FOX Sports 2 from 10-11 p.m. A two-hour special highlights show will be aired on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, March 22, from 8-10 a.m.
|1||1||57||P||T.Krohn/Jonsson/Pla||1:51.152||121.131||0.000s||Ligier JS P2 Judd|
|2||2||1||P||Sharp/Dalziel/Heinemeier Hansson||1:51.455||120.802||0.303||Honda HPD ARX|
|4||4||60||P||Pew/Negri Jr./Wilson||1:52.170||120.032||1.018||Honda HPD Ligier JS P2|
|8||8||2||P||Brown/van Overbeek/Fogarty||1:53.047||119.101||1.895||Honda HPD ARX|
|9||9||01||P||Hand/Pruett/Dixon||1:53.329||118.805||2.177||Ford EcoBoost Riley DP|
|18||7||8||PC||van der Zande/Hedlund/Schultis/Popow||1:57.842||114.255||6.690||ORECA FLM09|
|19||1||912||GTLM||Bergmeister/Bamber/Makowiecki/Tandy||1:58.587||113.537||7.435||Porsche 911 RSR|
|20||2||911||GTLM||Tandy/Pilet/Lietz/Bamber||1:58.806||113.328||7.654||Porsche 911 RSR|
|21||3||3||GTLM||Magnussen/Garcia/Briscoe||1:58.828||113.307||7.676||Chevrolet Corvette C7.R|
|22||4||25||GTLM||Auberlen/Werner/Farfus||1:58.842||113.293||7.690||BMW Z4 GTE|
|23||5||62||GTLM||Kaffer/Fisichella/Bertolini||1:58.927||113.212||7.775||Ferrari F458 Italia|
|24||6||24||GTLM||J.Edwards/Luhr/Klingmann||1:58.930||113.209||7.778||BMW Z4 GTE|
|25||7||4||GTLM||Gavin/Milner/Pagenaud||1:59.451||112.716||8.299||Chevrolet Corvette C7.R|
|26||8||17||GTLM||Sellers/Henzler/P.Long||1:59.787||112.400||8.635||Porsche 911 RSR|
|27||9||98||GTLM||Dalla Lana/Lamy/Turner/Lauda||1:59.896||112.297||8.744||Aston Martin Vantage V8|
|28||1||33||GTD||Keating/J.Bleekemolen/S.Bleekemolen||2:03.485||109.033||12.333||Dodge Viper SRT|
|29||2||23||GTD||James/M.Farnbacher/Riberas||2:03.538||108.987||12.386||Porsche 911 GT America|
|30||3||73||GTD||Lindsey/Pumpelly/Norman||2:04.106||108.488||12.954||Porsche 911 GT America|
|31||4||22||GTD||MacNeil/L.Keen/A.Davis||2:04.339||108.285||13.187||Porsche 911 GT America|
|32||5||007||GTD||Nielsen/J.Davison/B.Davis||2:04.855||107.837||13.703||Aston Martin V12 Vantage|
|33||6||81||GTD||Faulkner/Skeen/Avenatti/Giermaziak||2:04.930||107.772||13.778||Porsche 911 GT America|
|34||7||44||GTD||Potter/Lally/Seefried||2:04.944||107.760||13.792||Porsche 911 GT America|
|35||8||58||GTD||Ma.Snow/Heylen/Valverde||2:05.059||107.661||13.907||Porsche 911 GT America|
|36||9||93||GTD||Carter/Goossens/Keating/Lawrence||2:05.081||107.642||13.929||Dodge Viper SRT|
|37||10||48||GTD||Haase/B.Miller/von Moltke||2:05.265||107.484||14.113||Audi R8 LMS|
|38||11||45||GTD||Holzer/Thorne/Thompson||2:05.499||107.284||14.347||Audi R8 LMS|
|39||12||49||GTD||Perazzini/Cioci/Aguas/E.Potolicchio||2:05.781||107.043||14.629||Ferrari 458 Italia|
|40||13||63||GTD||Sweedler/To.Bell/Lazzaro||2:06.479||106.452||15.327||Ferrari 458 Italia|
|43||13||50||P||Pace/DeFoor/Hinton/Schroeder||-.—||—||–||BMW Power Riley DP|
|44||14||7||P||Mayer/Hartley||-.—||—||–||BWM Power Riley DP|
|45||15||18||GTD||TBD||-.—||—||–||Porsche 911 GT America|
|46||16||009||GTD||TBD||-.—||—||–||Aston Martin V12 Vantage|