Porsche 1-2 GTLM Qualifying at Sebring

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Porsche North America will start Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from the class pole, following a 1-2 effort for the German manufacturer in qualifying for the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

A late flyer by Fred Makowiecki saw the Frenchman’s No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR jump to the top of the time sheets with less than one minute remaining of the 15-minute session, bumping the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia of Pierre Kaffer from provisional pole.

Makowiecki’s 1:58.587 lap time outpaced teammate Patrick Pilet, who made a late improvement to second with a time that was 0.219 seconds slower than his countryman.

It marked the 13th different pole-sitter in GTLM in as many races in the TUDOR Championship to date.

Makowiecki will share driving duties of the No. 912 Porsche with Joerg Bergmeister and Earl Bamber on Saturday.

Antonio Garcia qualified the Rolex 24 at Daytona class-winning and championship-leading No. 3 Corvette C7.R in third, followed by Dirk Werner in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE in fourth.

Kaffer was demoted from first to fifth at the end, following a number of a late improvements from competitors.

Jeroen Bleekemolen scored top pole honors in GT Daytona, with the Dutchman taking his TI Automotive/Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R to a new qualifying record of 2:03.485.

It marked Bleekemolen’s first pole since Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and also broke TRG-AMR’s James Davison’s five-race pole-win streak in the highly competitive class.

Bleekemolen will share driving duties of the No. 33 Viper with brother Sebastiaan and Ben Keating, who is coming off class victory in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona in the team’s sister Viper.

The No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America of Mario Farnbacher qualified second, just 0.053 seconds slower than Bleekemolen’s pole time, with Spencer Pumpelly third in the Park Place Motorsports Porsche.

Leh Keen made it three Porsches in the top-four, with Davison only able to muster fifth in class in his TRG Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.

Of note, the No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche of Damien Faulkner qualified sixth, less than two hours after its spare engine arrived at the circuit, which had put the Tully’s-sponsored entry on the sidelines for the majority of the weekend.

The Twelve Hours of Sebring gets underway Saturday at 10:40 a.m. ET, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.

RESULTS: Qualifying

7 Comments

  1. Jason

    March 20, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I think the Aston Martin won’t win this one. Don’t let qualifying fool you aside from that. Falken are not strong qualifiers but they always race their way to to the front by the second half of these endurance races. My pick to win is the #3 Corvette though.

    • Sabre-aN

      March 20, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Well it is the only car in GTLM with a Pro-Am lineup so its chances were always low, even if it had been on pole. The only hopes it has are that its race pace is relatively better, that Darren Turner can extract some more speed than Pedro, and that Paul Dalla Lana (and to a lesser extent Mathias Lauda) can keep it on the lead lap. Not great prospects unfortunately, but you gotta love the underdogs so I hope they have a clean race and can bring it up the order.

      If I had to guess a winner it is hard to look past the #3, I agree. They’ve been very much on form recently.

    • GimmeShelter

      March 20, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Sorry.
      PORSCHE WILL WIN TOMORROW!!!

    • GimmeShelter

      March 20, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Nope. It’s Porsche all-the-way.

    • Doug

      March 22, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Good prediction! Shame the #4 fell out late though.

  2. GimmeShelter

    March 20, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Porsche was very, very strong at Daytona in January till they took each other out by mistake! Looks like they are going to avenge that Daytona disaster with a win tomorrow. I would not bet against this team in GTLM. They will win GTLM at Sebring. TOTALLY

    • Jason

      March 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Well the thing I am hoping for the most is no GTLM calamity. Which is what we have had for the last few enduros. The Risi Ferrari at Sebring last year, the pit lane collision at Road Atlanta, and the Porsches at Daytona. I would love to see all 9 cars running at the end without any major contacts or off track incidents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>