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Sebring Saturday Notebook

Sportscar365’s Saturday notebook ahead of Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

***Despite having won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring three times in the last four years, Pipo Derani claimed his first pole at the airfield circuit on Saturday. The Brazilian described his No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R “being on rails” from the out-lap.

***Felipe Nasr revealed he had “really minor” COVID-19 symptoms after testing positive for the virus in the build-up to the WeatherTech 240 at Daytona earlier this month. The Brazilian, who makes his return to the Whelen-sponsored Cadillac DPi-V.R told reporters on Saturday that he feels “full of energy” and ready to go for this evening’s two-hour and 40-minute race.

***The No. 5 JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi rebounded from rear brake failure in Friday’s practice session to qualify fifth in the hands of Sebastien Bourdais.

***Jordan Taylor admitted his pole in GT Le Mans, his first with Corvette Racing, was “a little bit unexpected” after initially struggling for pace in the limited sessions so far this weekend.

“This morning to be honest, we were a little off the pace and bouncing around a little,” he said. “The Corvette Racing guys made a lot of big changes for qualifying, and the Corvette was super nice to drive.”

***AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Frankie Montecalvo, who scored his first career WeatherTech Championship pole on Saturday, said he’s not concerned on the possibility of rain, with the Canadian squad set to treat strategy like any other race. “I’m not worried about the rain coming our way,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to handle it in our Lexus RC F GT3.”

***WeatherTech Championship teams have a quick turnaround between qualifying and the race, with only two hours between the checkered flag on DPi qualifying and the start of recon laps.

***DragonSpeed is undertaking its first-ever double-duty weekend, with the American squad also taking part in Sunday’s European Le Mans Series season-opener at Paul Ricard. Memo Rojas, Ben Hanley and Ryan Cullan will start the Four Hours of Le Castellet in fifth, with the team’s Oreca 07 Gibson of Henrik Hedman and Gustavo Menezes set to roll off from 2nd on the grid for this evening’s IMSA race.

***Hey, a new email service launched by David Heinemeier Hansson’s Basecamp firm, is serving as a sponsor on the No. 8 Tower Motorsport by Starworks Oreca 07 Gibson this weekend. Heinemeier Hansson, who is the team’s Michelin Endurance Cup driver, was in the spotlight last month amid Apple’s initial rejection of the subscription service in its iOS app store, which was partially overturned following widespread condemnation from lawmakers and other developers.

***For the second consecutive year, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring has been voted North America’s No. 1 motorsports event in a poll conducted by USA Today. Sebring finished ahead of famed events such as the SCORE Baja 1000, Knoxville Nationals and Indianapolis 500. The USA Today 10Best competition was a month-long online vote that included 19 events nominated by a panel of motorsports experts.

***Holmatro and ESI Equipment have joined IMSA as suppliers of safety equipment to the sanctioning body. Holmatro manufacturers hydraulic rescue equipment that will be used to extricate drivers from their race cars following a serious incident.

***ESI will supply Enforcer 30 Compressed Air Foam Systems on IMSA’s two Chevrolet safety trucks, in addition to Fluorine Free FireAde Foam to aid in extinguishing any fires that should occur during on-track incidents.

***Watch the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring live on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. ET, with coverage in the booth led by Kevin Lee, Calvin Fish and AJ Allmendinger. Brian Till and Parker Kligerman will be on pit road, socially distanced. International coverage will be carried by IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh, Jeremy Shaw and Shea Adam, which can be found on

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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