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Rebellion’s Jani Wins Sebring Pole

| , RacinToday.com Friday, March 17 2017

Neel Jani crushed the track record at Sebring Friday during qualifying.


Rebellion Racing’s Neel Jani drove to the overall pole for Saturday’s 12 Hours of Sebring race in Sebring, Fla. on Friday.

Jani laid down a track record qualifying lap of 1 minute, 48.178 seconds in the No. 13 ORECA O7 Gibson LMP2 car.

Jani said he was a bit surprised by his pole win because of problems the car has been having.

“We didn’t expect it, to be honest,” he said. “There is no ideal lap at Sebring. It’s too bumpy.”

The Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.Rs of Christian Fittipaldi and Dane Cameron qualified second and third fastest respectively.

“I think we definitely have a very good car underneath us and we’ll see what we can get out of tomorrow,” Fittipaldi said. “The Cadillac DPi-V.R showed again it had speed, reliability and everything was working really well for the 12-hour race.”

“Not too bad,” Cameron said. “We’ve been working all weekend to find a balance of speed and handling for the 12-hour race,” said Cameron. “I think we have decent car at the moment, but wanted better results after being close and qualifying third.”

In GT Le Mans, the Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe won the pole with a time of 1:55.939.

Briscoe was just a little quicker than teammate Mueller in the No. 66 – Mueller’s best lap was 1:56.175. The third Ford GT, the No. 68, qualified by Stefan Mucke, was less than a half-second off Briscoe’s pace, but that put him back in fifth. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing brought four Ford GTs to Le Mans and Daytona, but there are only three at Sebring.

“The track was so fast in qualifying,” Briscoe said. “I don’t think anyone was expecting those lap times.” Briscoe – who shares the car with Richard Westbrook and, for longer races like Sebring, IndyCar champ Scott Dixon – said Sebring is one of his favorite races. “I love the challenges that come with it.” The key to winning? “You have to keep your nose clean.”

Qualifying third, with a lap time of 1:56.252, was the No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R driven by Tommy Milner. But the car was found to have an illegal ride height in post-qualifying inspection, and will have to start last in the GT category behind all GTLM and GT Daytona (GTD) cars. That elevates the fourth-fastest car, the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR qualified by Kevin Estre at 1:56.319, to third. Surprisingly uncompetitive was the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 qualified by Giancarlo Fisichella with the best lap of 1:57.175, the slowest in the field.

The pole in GT Daytona went to Tristan Vautier in the No. 75 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with a time of time of 1:59.738.

As in the GTLM class, the top qualifiers in GTD also set a Sebring record.

In Prototype Challenge, the pole went to Gustavo Yacaman in the No. 26ORECA FLM09. He had a time of 1:53.506.

| , RacinToday.com Friday, March 17 2017
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