Shank rebounds from crash, scores Sebring pole
Rebounding from adversity, Michael Shank Racing will start Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from the overall pole, leading a Ligier JS P2 Honda sweep of the front row.
Olivier Pla took clocked in with a time 1:51.217, less than 24 hours after a massive accident by co-driver John Pew in night practice.
The Frenchman edged out the Rolex 24 at Daytona-winning No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier-Honda of Pipo Derani by 0.174 seconds for the top qualifying position.
Dane Cameron, who had topped the time sheets in two of the four practice sessions in his No. 31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, qualified third with a 1:51.943 lap, followed by the sister No. 5 entry, which saw an off-course excursion by the Brazilian.
Braun heads PC class
CORE autosport’s Colin Braun stormed to the class pole in Prototype Challenge, with the defending class champion reeling off a 1:54.910 lap in his No. 54 Oreca FLM09.
Braun edged out the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Tom Kimber-Smith by a considerable 0.933 seconds for his first top qualifying effort of the year.
He’ll share driving duties with Mark Wilkins and team owner Jon Bennett tomorrow.
Daytona class pole-sitter Johnny Mowlem was third in the No. 20 BAR1 Motordports entry, with James French (Performance Tech) and Alex Popow (Starworks Motorsport), in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Remarkably, the top-five was separated by a hefty 2.3 seconds, with the large gap owed to debut of a new electronics package many teams are still coming to grips with.
BMW Team RLL swept the front row in the GTLM with Bill Auberlen taking the new BMW M6 GTLM to its maiden pole position.
Auberlen laid down a quick lap of 1:58.402 in the heated 15-minute qualifying session to edge out teammate John Edwards by 0.190 seconds.
The veteran BMW driver will share his pole-sitting No. 25 entry with Dirk Werner and Bruno Spengler.
Daniel Serra qualified the No. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE in third, two-tenths behind Auberlen, while Richard Westbrook was fourth in his No. 67 Ford GT.
The pair of Corvette C7.Rs, which finished 1-2 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, completed the top-six in class, which was separated by less than a half-second.
Segal takes GTD pole in Ferrari 488
Jeff Segal claimed his first WeatherTech Championship class pole and the first for the debuting Ferrari 488 GT3, in a three-way fight for top qualifying honors in GT Daytona.
Segal put his No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari on top with a quick lap of 2:02.350, edging out the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R of Jeroen Bleekemolen by 0.036 seconds.
Jens Klingmann in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 was third with a 2:02.660 lap, after the BMW factory driver held provisional pole on at least two occasions.
Class pole-sitter Segal will share driving duties in the Ferrari with Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen on Saturday.
Mario Farnbacher made it four different manufacturers in the top-four in his No. 23 The Heart of Racing/AJR Porsche 911 GT3 R, with teammate Leh Keen completing the top-five in class.
Action Express on top again in final practice at Sebring
Sebring 12hr, Hour 1 – Shank leads overall, GTLM features BMW vs Corvette