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Jani Puts Rebellion on 12H Sebring Pole

Neel Jani storms to Twelve Hours of Sebring pole…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Rebellion Racing will start tomorrow’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from the pole, with Neel Jani smashing the track qualifying record in a heated qualifying session Saturday.

The reigning FIA World Endurance Champion reeled off a 1:48.178 lap time in the No. 13 Oreca 07 Gibson, marking the first pole for a 2917 global-spec LMP2 car in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

Jani edged out the Rolex 24 at Daytona pole-sitting No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi.V-R of Christian Fittipaldi by 0.095 seconds.

Fittipaldi was on a late flyer in his Cadillac, but ran out of fuel on his final lap, dashing hopes of stealing the pole away in the closing moments of the 15-minute session.

The Swiss driver will share driving duties in tomorrow’s race with Sebastien Buemi and Nick Heidfeld.

The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac, qualified by Dane Cameron will roll off third, with Jose Gutierrez fourth in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson with a 1:49.056 lap time.

Brendon Hartley completed the top-five in the No. 22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi, with Ricky Taylor only able to muster sixth in the Rolex 24-winning Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.

The No. 2 ESM Nissan, which was on a quick flyer in the hands of Pipo Derani, lost all of its qualifying times after a boost-related infraction. The car pitted with engine issues prior to setting a competitive lap.

Gustavo Yacaman, meanwhile, claimed Prototype Challenge pole honors, in a cut-throat battle with James French.

The Colombian reeled off a 1:53.506 on his final lap in the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 to edge out French’s Daytona class-winning Performance Tech entry by just 0.069 seconds.

Buddy Rice qualified third in the sister BAR1 entry, nearly 2.5 seconds behind.

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring gets underway at 10:40 a.m. ET, with live coverage on FS1 beginning at 12:30 p.m. and entire race on FOX Sports GO beginning at 10:30 a.m.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Matty

    March 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Still have reliability questions on the ORECA & Ligier. Cadillac may go 1-2-3 by 10 pm tomorrow night.

    • Andres

      March 17, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      Not to mention the HP issue, they needed to screw out the Cadillacs to make these cars not look awfully crappy, if we had non restrictors racing, the Cadillac could easily smoke them out, but IMSA taken away some 60-70 HP of th Cadillacs twice in the week

      • Larry

        March 17, 2017 at 9:52 pm

        Damn, some of you seem to think that the Caddies are the only ones that get restricted. They lowered the boost on the Mazda and the Nissan.

        If these cars were allowed to run as much HP as they could make with the engines they have, the Caddie would not come out on top.

        IMSA said all along that the WEC P2 was the benchmark so don’t cry when they try to keep their word.

        GM whining……………………..

        • Andres

          March 18, 2017 at 11:08 am

          Not whinig at all, tell me how the hell a 2.0 liter turbo engine or a 4.5 liter n/a engine can be more powerful than a big screaming 6.2 n/a engine, all without being restricted, is no way, and they slow it so freaking much cause that Gibson spec engine proved to be complete garbage, they ran a few laps flat out at Daytona and literally exploded, so then they detuned them to last 24 hours, like they do today, so make DPIs slower, specially Cadillac cause it has the larger and more powerful and reliable engine

  2. P

    March 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Well done Rebellion.

    I rooting you, try your very best to win at Sebring.

    Good Luck.

    • Mike S.

      March 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Always liked the fact Rebellion comes over and goes the extra mile to be in North America. Hard not to root for them. Hope a full time entry next season!!

  3. Mike S.

    March 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Yeah track will beat up all cars and components. It will be interesting. Long race and pole means something but doesn’t at same time in a 12 hour race. Weather won’t be a factor at least.

  4. Doug

    March 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Great Job Rebellion!

    Which Record is the story referring to? Certainly not track record as that’s held by Audi.

    • Deano

      March 17, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      The IMSA P class I’m guessing. I remember people going on about track records in 2014 even though the P2 cars were 3-4 seconds slower than the year before due to the tyres.

    • elVeloz

      March 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      probably record for current championship since 2014, because back in 2010, the LMP2 cars did 1:47:xxx in Sebring (with 120 hp less than current DPi/LMP2’s).

      • Jack

        March 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm

        The Porsche rs spider p2 did a 1:45 in 2008

        • GR88

          March 17, 2017 at 10:29 pm

          At the Dunlop tyre test the P2’s were doing 1.46’s. That was early in the year so I expect they could do 1.45’s now.

      • Andres

        March 17, 2017 at 8:29 pm

        the tires are the issue, put the Michelin/Dunlop tires on these cars, specially the Cadillac unrestricted, and you probably will be much closer to an LMP1 lap time than a DPI/LMP2 lap time

  5. #1 BIG UGLY FIN hater

    March 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm


  6. Kirk

    March 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I’m just excited it wasn’t a 1-2-3 Caddy sweep of the first three positions. After a few of the practices it seemed Caddy still had a distinct advantage, but maybe not. Tomorrow’s race should be fun. Go Rebellion!

    • Jack

      March 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      According to jani he still thinks the caddies will beat him in the race.

    • Jake

      March 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      Per Marshall Pruett, the Caddies clocked in 8-9-10 in the speed traps. 13mph slower than the Nissan’s at theend of the front straight.

      • Andres

        March 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm

        13 MPH is like having a car that got screwed out of any fight for the race, is so much difference, they are penalising a better chassis and engine combination

        • Larry

          March 17, 2017 at 9:55 pm

          Oh boo hoo

        • GR88

          March 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm

          Not necessarily. If you have an abundance of power you can ramp up the downforce. May not show their hand in qualifying, but in the race could have a very quick, easy to drive car.

          • Andres

            March 18, 2017 at 11:10 am

            GR88 remember they Cadillacs suffered 3 BOPs during 2 weeks, it was slow after slow to make the garbage Gibsons not to look that awful

  7. Deano

    March 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Well the Contis seem faster, only 2 seconds off the Dunlops from test if those times are accurate, and better than the 3-4 seconds they used to be.

    • LM Mike

      March 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Yes it’s good to see the improvement

  8. LM Mike

    March 17, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    And Continental Tire don’t have any speed and doesn’t make a good Tire.

    • LM Mike

      March 17, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Just waiting for all the Michelin fanboys to comment on the pace of Continental Tire?

      • Steven

        March 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

        Dunlop has the best P2 compound. Good try.

  9. EB Royes

    March 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    How many yellows will the #8 Starworks entry bring out tomorrow?

    • LM Mike

      March 17, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      5 lol

    • Avery

      March 17, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      And how many from both 20 and 26 lol.

    • Steven

      March 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      drinking game?

  10. WBrowning

    March 17, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    12HR of Sebring is the ultimate “Shake Down” test of new equipment, it will be interesting to see who survives to take the checkered flag.

  11. Doug

    March 17, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    And Mazda is still in back….

    What is with them anyhow? They really have no excuses this year.

    • Olly

      March 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      Think Derani will get by them in the opening laps? 😉

    • Mike S.

      March 17, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      No they don’t. Have the drivers and I think the best must underrated one in Spencer Pigot for the NAEC races. Engine is said to be improved but its always a silly component that seems to be faulty and cause DNF’s

    • elVeloz

      March 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Mazda needs an real race team (Highcroft, Dyson, etc) and kick out Speedsurce.

      • Evan Worley

        March 17, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        I have definitely thought about what they might do with a different team running the show.

        I know Mazda doesn’t have a huge budget, but the pieces seem to be there…

  12. Kev

    March 17, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    2917 spec P2s…powered by artificial black holes and anti gravity machines.

  13. Bob

    March 17, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Can always count on JD to link the quali results! Thanks. Cause I can find at
    Such a big time spread in GTD. A whopper of a lap by Vautier in the AMG! Some cars are way slow! Interesting.
    BMW continues to be ho-hum in GTLM.
    And why is CORE not good in Quali?
    Looking forward to the race. What’s the deal with the start coverage? Great that TV starts @ 12:30 & goes to the end but why is the start being skipped? Maybe college B-Ball?

  14. Greg

    March 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    As a mazda fan, I am starting to drink heavly. It’s going to be a long season.

    • Evan Worley

      March 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      I’m with you buddy, hopefully they get a better handle on the car with more miles.

      Definitely been frustrating so far.

      • fan

        March 17, 2017 at 8:55 pm

        In my opinion, the mazda team needs to have engine and other components all designed and built by the factory. As long as they don’t do that, they will continue to dissapoint. I am a Mazda fan as well. I was there today and the pilots all looked significantly dissapointed. I don’t blame them.

  15. GimmeShelter

    March 18, 2017 at 4:30 am

    A contrived result due solely to the BoP levied against Cadillac. Not to worry; the weak Gibson V8 will never finish the race and will be extinct before half-distance completed.

  16. Luna

    March 18, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Outstanding performance of Lawrence Degeorge and his Lamborghini. 8 seconds from the pole. It is known that those clowns of Dream Racing are all after his money but there should be a limit.

  17. Zone

    March 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Auction express just stupid as hell for not putting enough fuel in the car for qualifying. Stupid as hell. They would have had the pole.

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