SEBRING — Acura let it be known during Friday morning’s final WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice they had the speed. Shortly afterwards, Dane Cameron put the No. 6 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi on the pole for today’s 67th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.
“It’s pretty cool, there is nothing better than the view in the front,” Cameron said. “I’m super, super proud of this effort. We had a little problem yesterday, our guys were up until like 2 in the morning or something ridiculous and they only slept maybe two hours. So thank you to them.”
Cameron didn’t waste much time grabbing the top speed of the qualifying session, notching a time of 1:45.865 on his second lap of five he completed.
“It was nice to go out on low fuel and give it a good thrash,” Cameron said. “It was a lot of fun, I haven’t had a pole in a while, so it feels really good.”
Tristan Nunez turned in the second best time and will also start on the front row after a time of 1:46.011, while the No. 7 Acura Team Penske car placed third.
Filipe Albuquerque qualified the No. 5 Mustang Sampling fourth, the best finish of any of the Cadillacs.
“The car was pretty good, particularly in the opening laps,” Albuquerque said. “I was giving it everything.”
Cadillac locked down the third row, with the No. 5 Whelen Engineering DPi placing fifth and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac of Wayne Taylor Racing placing sixth.
It is my first time qualifying the Cadillac, so I have a little bit to learn there,” Pipo Derani, driver of the No. 31 Whelen car said. “We are not that far away with our qualifying time, and we did the best that we could. It is great to be racing for the current champions and I am really hoping I can get another win here.”
Jordan Taylor, driver of the No. 10 Cadillac, said he was pleased with how things went.
“I think everything was OK — we knew we weren’t going to get the pole so we’ve been working on our race car all weekend and I think it was probably the most comfortable it’s been all weekend during the qualifying session,” Taylor said. “It’s not the fastest but you don’t need the fastest car to win these kinds of races. We worked on the car enough in night practice to know it’ll be good at the end of the race, and that’s when the race is won or lost, so we’re feeling pretty confident.”
While Cameron set the best time early it was a completely different story in the two-car LMP2 field, as Matthew McCurry in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen LMP2 edged Performance Tech Motorsports’ Kyle Masson on the eighth — and final — lap with a time of 1:49.728.
“It’s going to be a good race,” McMurry said. “We are evenly matched. We’re going to be going back and forth the whole race. And we’ll probably be battling the weather a whole lot.”
Today’s race will begin at 10:40 a.m.