SEBRING — Porsche GT Team swept the from row of the GTLM class for today’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts with a 1-2 qualifying run. Patrick Pilet turned in a lap of 1:55.889 in the No. 911 car, which was .143 seconds faster than the No. 912 car with both notching their best times on the their third lap.
“We improved the car each session,” Pilet said. “I think we were good in FP4 (free practice) doing the ‘qually’ sim.
The third lap was also the best one for the No. 3 Corvette, driven by Antonio Garcia, who will share the second row with the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, which was driven by Richard Westbrook.
“Everything ran pretty smooth with our Corvette,” Garcia said. “I didn’t expect the lap times to be that low, to be fair. In the last practice this morning, the track wasn’t really where it needed to be. That probably gave us a little bit of a misread, but in the end it didn’t hurt us.Starting from third and knowing we have good pace is good.”
The two BMW Team RLL entries were a bit late to hit the track and will each be starting from one of the back two rows.
Pilet said it was great to see Porsche run 1-2 in qualifying.
“So it’s good to block the front row and have both teams on the front row,” he said. “It’s a great presentation for Porsche. It was one of our weaknesses last season.”
Pilet said the switch to Michelin tires have been a help for Porsche.
“Last season you could pick a tire for qualifying and one for racing,” he said. “Now you have to use the same tire for the start of the race. I think that is to our advantage because we are faster over longer runs with the right tire.”
The tire might be one of the few advantages Porsche has for today’s race, but it’s hard to argue with their success here after winning last year and also placing third, along with Friday’s qualifying order.
“If you look at Porsche results, it’s good,” Pilet said. “If you look at the track it’s not designed for our car because it is quite bumpy, but we have the package for success for the rest of the weekend.”