Race Weekend Central

Tom Blomqvist Quickest In Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Practices

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams took to the 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway Wednesday (March 16) for multiple practice sessions. Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Tom Blomqvist was fastest overall in early practice with a lap at 125.774 mph.

Practice No. 1

In the first practice of the weekend, there were a series of issues. Both BMW M Team RLL’s Sheldon van der Linde and Blomqvist stopped on course to draw red flags. Performance Tech Motorsports’ Robert Mau also spun off the circuit and required assistance, drawing a third red flag.

Winward Racing’s Indy Dontje also crashed in turn 5, but he was able to drag his Mercedes back to the pits, preventing a red flag. In and around Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Filipe Albuquerque was quickest with a lap at 124.318 mph in his Acura ARX-06.

Albuquerque’s lap was .133 seconds quicker than the Cadillac of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Renger van der Zande. Action Express Racing’s Jack Aitken was third fastest, then BMW M Team RLL’s Connor de Phillippi and Philipp Eng.

In LMP2, Era Motorsport’s Christian Rasmussen was fastest with a lap at 121.378 mph, good for eighth overall. Rasmussen’s lap was .214 seconds faster than TDS Racing’s Giedo van der Garde. Crowdstrike Racing by APR’s George Kurtz was third as he continues to get used to the ORECA 07, followed by TDS Racing’s Scott Huffaker. PR1 Mathaisen Motorsports’ Paul-Loup Chatin was fifth.

In LMP3, MRS-GT Racing failed to show up in Sebring, dropping the class down to nine entries. Of those nine teams, Jr III Racing’s Dakota Dickerson was fastest in class with a lap at 115.721 mph, good for 17th overall.

Dickerson’s lap was .068 seconds faster than Riley Motorsports’ Felipe Fraga. Andretti Autosport’s Gabby Chaves was third, then Andrew Wojteczko Autosport’s Nico Varrone in the best Duqueine. JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Tijmen van der Helm was fifth.

In the GT ranks, the increased air restrictor size did wonders for Porsche. Wright Motorsports’ Trent Hindman was fastest of all GT drivers with a lap at 111.188 mph, good for 26th overall.

Hindman ended up .102 seconds faster than the Acura of Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR’s Kyle Marcelli. VasserSullivan’s Parker Thompson was third in his Lexus, then Team Korthoff Motorsports’ Mikael Grenier. Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally was fifth in the best Aston Martin.

GTD Pro was led by VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth with a lap at 111.129 mph, 27th overall and .064 seconds slower than Hindman. Hawksworth’s lap was .238 seconds faster than Risi Competizione’s Daniel Serra. The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn was third fastest, then WeatherTech Racing’s Maro Engel and Iron Lynx’s Jordan Pepper.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 12 HOURS OF SEBRING PRACTICE NO. 1 RESULTS

Practice No. 2

In the afternoon session, the trouble continued as Action Express Racing’s Aitken drew a red flag going off at turn 3. Earlier in the session, Riley Motorsports’ Josh Burdon spun off at turn 13.

Blomqvist’s quick lap of the day came with just five minutes remaining in the session. The lap was .026 seconds faster than Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais. Louis Deletraz was third after leading most of the session, followed by Pipo Derani. Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Felipe Nasr was fifth.

In LMP2, Rasmussen was quickest again, this time with a lap at 121.840 mph, ninth overall. The lap was .767 seconds faster than Crowdstrike Racing by APR’s Nolan Siegel. Chatin was third, then van der Garde and Rick Ware Racing’s Devlin DeFrancesco.

Dickerson was quickest again in LMP3 with a lap at 115.688 mph. He was .076 seconds faster than Burdon. Varrone was third, then Sean Creech Motorsports’ Nico Pino. Glenn van Berlo in the Andretti entry was fifth.

In the GT classes, Winward Racing’s Russell Ward in the GTD class was quickest of all GT drivers with a lap at 111.073 mph, 26th overall. Ward was .034 seconds faster than AO Racing’s Sebastian Priaulx. VasserSullivan’s Aaron Telitz was third, then Patrick Gallagher and Marcelli.

GTD Pro was led by Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner with a lap at 111.034 mph, 28th overall. The lap was .053 seconds faster than Gunn, then Davide Rigon in the Risi Ferrari. Hawksworth and Pfaff Motorsports’ Patrick Pilet rounded out the top five.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 12 HOURS OF SEBRING PRACTICE NO. 2 RESULTS

Practice No. 3

Night practice for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring featured more of the same
start and stop action from the first two sessions. After 90 minutes and five
red flags, Action Express Racing’s Alexander Sims was fastest with a lap at 123.727 mph.

Sims’ lap was .152 seconds quicker than Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Nick Tandy. Deletraz was third, then Eng and Bourdais.

The stoppages came quickly. On the initial out lap of the session, Kelly-Moss Road & Race’s No. 92 Porsche of David Brule went off at turn 5 to draw a red flag. The team eventually got out after a stint in the garage and continued.

Later on, Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Colin Braun had issues
on the pit straight. Braun was able to restart the car and briefly continued, but the car eventually died again in turn 5 to draw another stoppage.

Right after the green came back out, Gradient Racing’s Marc Miller went off at turn 3 with a loose wheel on his out lap to draw another red flag. The team thrashed in the paddock and was able to get Miller back out in time to complete a couple of laps right at the end of the session.

Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Filipe Albuquerque stopped at turn 4 three minutes after the green came back out from the third red flag to stop everything again. Both Albuquerque and Braun’s Acura ARX-06s were reportedly suffering from electrical issues.

Finally, Kelly-Moss’ No. 91 Porsche with Kay van Berlo driving crashed in Sunset Bend with 15 minutes to go to bring out the fifth and final red flag. Kay was ok, but it was the end of the session for the No. 91.

In LMP2, TDS Racing’s Josh Pierson was fastest at 120.707 mph, three-tenths of a second clear of Era Motorsport’s Christian Rasmussen. Scott Huffaker was third, then Ed Jones and Ben Hanley.

Jr III Racing swept all three practices in LMP3, this time with Garret Grist fastest at
115.477 mph. He was .957 seconds faster than Riley Motorsports’ Felipe Fraga. Ave
Motorsports’ Tonis Kasemets was third, followed by Nico Varrone and Glenn van Berlo.

Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor was fastest in GTD Pro and of all GT drivers with a lap at 111.007 mph. Taylor was .085 seconds faster than VasserSullivan’s Ben Barnicoat. Daniel Juncadella was third, then Patrick Pilet and Jordan Pepper.

Finally, Winward Racing’s Indy Dontje recovered from an earlier crash to go fastest in GTD with a lap at 110.943. Dontje was .284 seconds faster than AO Racing’s Sebastian Priaulx, while The Heart of Racing’s Roman DeAngelis was third. Kyle Marcelli and Kay van Berlo (prior to his crash) rounded out the top five.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 12 HOURS OF SEBRING PRACTICE NO. 3 RESULTS

Qualifying for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring is scheduled for 9:10 a.m. ET
Friday morning. That session will be streamed live on IMSA.com and on Peacock.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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