SEBRING — While Acura Team Penske may get all the attention, the ‘other’ Acura gang did pretty good for themselves, as well, during Friday’s qualifying for today’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. Trent Hindman was the only GTD driver to break the 2-minute barrier and he put the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 on the pole.
“It’s just a result of all the hard work they put in back in the shop,” Hindman said. “They put in a lot of long hours last night. We made a lot of changes to the car, I’m just glad it all worked out. I’m glad I was able to deliver for them and bring them home a result we can be proud of.”
The No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 qualified second, followed by the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports 911 GT3 R and the Lamborghinis of GRT Grasser Racing Team and Precision Performance Motorsports were fourth and fifth.
Hindman said the World Endurance Championship running Friday night, the track will be a bit different for today’s race.
“We think we’re all prepared, everybody along pit lane will be saying the same thing,” he said. “But we know at Meyer Shank Racing we have great pit stops and we have a very consistent car for the long haul, so that’s all we’re going to focus on.”
The No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 placed seventh and driver Cooper MacNeil said the car was better than that.
“For me, the car was pretty darn good,” MacNeil said. “I made one small mistake in Turn 17. Then, I caught one car in traffic on my fast lap in Turn 16. That cost us a little bit, which ended up being a spot or two. But still, we’re in the top 10 at P7. That sets us up for a good starting position for (today’s) 12-hour race.”
MacNeil said qualifying isn’t all that important for an endurance race.
“Obviously, it’s 12 hours long so starting position isn’t entirely crucial,” he said. “The farther up ahead we start, the easier our job is. We’ve got a few cars to pass. But it’s a long race and we’ve got a really good race car. And, the crew is working really hard, doing a good job. We’ve just got to put it all together.”
Three other manufactures rounded out the top 10 in qualifying, with the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 placing eighth, the No. 33 Wynn’s Riley Motorsports — Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 placing ninth and the No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 rounding out the top 10.