Starting lineup grid for Twelve Hours of Sebring: Pipo Derani puts Cadillac on pole
Pipo Derani led a 1-2 sweep of the front row for Cadillac Racing in the starting lineup grid for the 71st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Derani turned a lap of 1 minute, 45.836 seconds in the Action Express-prepared No. 31 Cadillac, and Sebastien Bourdais qualified second in the No. 01 Cadillac fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing on the 17-turn, 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway.
It’s the first pole for Cadillac in the new Grand Touring Prototype category, which introduced hybrid engines to the premier prototype class this year. It’s the first pole position since the 2021 season finale for Derani, who co-drives the Cadillac V-Series R with Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken.
STARTING GRID: Click here for the Twelve Hours of Sebring lineup l Lineup by car number
FULL QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for Friday’s speeds
HOW TO WATCH THE TWELVE HOURS OF SEBRING: Schedules, start times, entry lists
“It shows we’ve been working hard since Daytona,” the Brazilian told IMSA Radio’s Shea Adam. “We showed promise there but perhaps were a little behind some of our rivals. To get here with a very competitive package is fantastic. It’s good to be on pole. It’s been a while.
“We’ve been coming back from a very difficult season last year, slowly step by step getting back to what Action Express knows how to do. We’re really happy to be on pole for the second race of the season. Enjoy the moment, it’s a long race, but it’s good to be on pole.”
Derani has four victories at Sebring, most recently in 2020, and he believes a half day on the bumpy track could be a stiffer test in the second outing for the LMDh prototypes than 24 hours a Daytona International Speedway.
Here are your @Motul Pole Award winners for the @Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.#IMSA | @sebringraceway | @WhelenMTRS | @CadillacVSeries | @PR1Motorsports | @FollowAndretti | @TeamChevy | @RacersEdgeMS | @WayneTaylorRcng pic.twitter.com/E2ivuxYCJv
— #IMSA (@IMSA) March 17, 2023
“It’s a really difficult track on man and machine,” he said. “Despite having done a 24-hour race at Daytona, I think this is really demanding on the car to the point we might experience new things throughout the race just because of the nature of the track. We’re expecting that we’ll continue to learn about our cars. They are so very new, and there are things we are constantly developing. It’s going to be one of those races where you find yourself in the middle thinking, ‘Oh, I didn’t think about this. We could have used this tool or that tool.’
“The cars are technologically advanced to the point where sometimes you have five tools to fix the same problem. Those are the learning curves we’re having and this is the second race for these cars. On the competitive side, it’s such a difficult race. We’ll try to stay cool.”
Ricky Taylor was third in an Acura for Wayne Taylor Racing, which beat the No. 60 ARX-06 of Meyer Shank Racing. Mathieu Jaminet was fifth in the Porsche Penske Motorsport No. 6 Porsche 963, and Augusto Farfus was the top BMW M Team RLL driver in fifth with the No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8.
There were two post-qualifying infractions:
The No. 57 car in GTD failed to meet minimum ride height and will start from the rear.
The No. 79 car in GTD Pro failed to meet minimum ride height and will start from the rear.
Here are the pole-sitters in other categories for the endurance race classic on the 17-turn, 3.74-mile road course:
LMP2: Ben Keating, No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, 1:51.780
LMP3: Glenn van Berlo, No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320, 1:55.215
GTD Pro: Antonio Garcia, No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, 1:59.315
GTD: Kyle Marcelli, No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3 Evo, 1:59.714
Fastest lap by driver after qualifying
Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying
PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III l Session IV
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Starting lineup grid for Twelve Hours of Sebring: Pipo Derani puts Cadillac on pole originally appeared on NBCSports.com