Race Weekend Central

Jesse Lazare Wins Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 Pole

Motorsports In Action’s Jesse Lazare won the pole Thursday afternoon (March 14) for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Alan Jay Automotive Network 120. Lazare’s lap was at 103.637 mph, which is an official track record for Pilot Challenge at Sebring, breaking the previous record from 2019 that belonged to Bill Auberlen. It is also Motorsports In Action’s third pole in the last four Pilot Challenge races.

Lazare comes to Sebring with a lot of momentum on his side. Last weekend, Lazare swept the two IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge races in St. Petersburg in the GSX class in a similar McLaren Artura GT4.

See also
Jagger Jones Sweeps VP Racing Challenge at St. Petersburg

Lazare’s lap was .185 seconds faster than Rennsport One’s Stevan McAleer, who was fastest in practice Thursday morning. Paul Holton, who is making his debut with TeamTGM this weekend, will start third, then Josh Green in his first qualifying session with Thaze Motorsport was fourth. Van der Steur Racing’s Rory van der Steur was fifth.

Early on, Holton was quick in his Aston Martin. Just before the halfway point of the session, McAleer put his Porsche on top of the chart with a lap at 103.139 mph. That lap was easily usurped by Lazare by more than four-tenths of a second.

Later on, Lazare improved his time again with his eventual pole lap. It is the only lap in the session that was completed in under 130 seconds.

In TCR, it was slow going early on. Eventually, JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Chris Miller took his Audi to the provisional pole.

Just before the halfway point of the session, Bryan Herta Autosport’s Harry Gottsacker set a lap at 101.142 mph to take the provisional pole. From there, Gottsacker let the other 13 drivers try to beat him. When time expired, no one had managed to do as the veteran racer took the pole.

Gottsacker ended up .299 seconds faster than JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Chris Miller. Mason Filippi will start third in the second BHA Hyundai, followed by Taylor Hagler in fourth. Louis-Philippe Montour will start fifth in the Montreal Motorsport Group Honda.

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 Qualifying Results

There were no red flags during the qualifying session. McCumbee-McAleer Racing’s Jenson Altzman did pull off with three minutes remaining in the session with an issue, but that did not cause a stoppage. As a result, Altzman will be able to keep the ninth starting spot.

The Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 is scheduled to go green at 3:15 p.m. ET Friday afternoon. Coverage of the race will start at 3:10 p.m. ET 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.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via