Olivier Pla wins pole for 12-Hours of Sebring

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 Patrón 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.

Ryan Dalziel
Ryan Dalziel

"[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 Patrón 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.

Qualifying Results

Pos CP No Class Drivers Time Speed Behind Make
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
3 3 5 P Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais 1:52.128 120.077 0.976 Corvette DP
4 4 60 P Pew/Negri Jr./Wilson 1:52.170 120.032 1.018 Honda HPD Ligier JS P2
5 5 31 P Curran/Cameron/Papis 1:52.490 119.691 1.338 Corvette DP
6 6 90 P Westbrook/Valiante/Rockenfeller 1:52.691 119.477 1.539 Corvette DP
7 7 10 P J.Taylor/R.Taylor/Angelelli 1:52.720 119.446 1.568 Corvette DP
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
10 10 0 P Rojas/Legge/Meyrick 1:55.223 116.852 4.071 DeltaWing DWC13
11 1 16 PC Drumwright/Drissi/D.Cheng/Plowman 1:55.257 116.817 4.105 ORECA FLM09
12 2 54 PC Bennett/Braun/Gue 1:55.327 116.746 4.175 ORECA FLM09
13 3 52 PC Guasch/Palmer/Kimber-Smith 1:55.416 116.656 4.264 ORECA FLM09
14 4 38 PC Mee/French/Daly 1:55.748 116.322 4.596 ORECA FLM09
15 5 11 PC Junqueira/Cumming/Menezes 1:56.450 115.620 5.298 ORECA FLM09
16 6 85 PC Goikhberg/C.Miller/Mitchell/Kraut 1:57.248 114.834 6.096 ORECA FLM09
17 11 70 P Nunez/Bomarito/Tremblay 1:57.421 114.664 6.269 Mazda Prototype
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
41 14 97 GTD Marsal/Palttala/Priaulx/Said 2:07.373 105.705 16.221 BMW Z4
42 12 07 P T.Long/Joel.Miller/Devlin/Tremblay -.— Mazda Prototype
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

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