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Bourdais Takes Action Express to Sebring Pole

Sebastien Bourdais takes Action Express Corvette DP to pole…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Despite a Ford sweep in all four practice sessions, it will be a Corvette DP on the pole for Saturday’s 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Fresh off victory in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, Sebastien Bourdais took his Action Express Racing Corvette DP to the top spot in qualifying Friday for the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Bourdais’ 1:51.917 lap time in the No. 5 car he shares with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi edged out the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan of Olivier Pla by 0.169 seconds.

Pla wound up second quickest overall and the best of the P2 contenders in what’s been the closest margin between the two types of Prototype class machinery.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Ricky Taylor qualified third with a 1:52.544 lap, followed by Ryan Dalziel in the No. 1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b, who was fourth.

Klaus Graf was fifth overall and in class aboard his Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Oreca 03 Nissan, making it three P2 cars in the top-five.

Oddly, the best of the Ford-powered Riley DPs, which dominated the time charts in practice, was the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Scott Dixon in fifth.

The IndyCar Series star’s 1:53.098 lap time was more than six-tenths slower than his best lap of the weekend, set in Thursday’s first practice session.

The 15-minute session saw two off-course excursions, with Richard Westbrook nosing his Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP lightly into the tire barriers early, while Scott Pruett spun his No. 01 Ganassi Riley-Ford in Turn 5 moments later.

Both recovered to set times in the top-10.

Bruno Junqueira scored the class pole in Prototype Challenge, peddling his No. 09 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 to an impressive 1:54.839 lap time.

It was a hefty 0.760 seconds quicker than the No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry of Tom Kimber-Smith, who made a late improvement to put the orange-colored car in second.

The Brazilian, who won the PC pole here in 2012, will share the wheel with Duncan Ende and David Heinemeier Hansson on Saturday.

Rolling off third in class will be the No. 38 Performance Tech car of Rafa Matos, who topped the sheets early in the session with a 1:55.603 lap time.

The Rolex 24 class-winning, and Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup championship-leading No. 54 CORE autosport of Colin Braun was fourth, with Renger van der Zande completing the top-five in his No. 8 Starworks Motorsport entry.

The 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring takes the green flag Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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