Tristan Vautier will start Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from the pole following a hard-fought qualifying for the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The Spirit of Daytona driver stormed to a fast lap of 1:47.432 in the No. 90 Cadillac DPi-V.R, outpacing the No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi of Olivier Pla by 0.160 seconds.
It marked the first pole for the Troy Flis-led squad since switching to Cadillac machinery, and comes after the Frenchman claimed GT Daytona class pole honors at Sebring last year.
Vautier will share driving duties with Matt McMurry and Eddie Cheever III tomorrow.
Ricky Taylor will roll off third in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05, following a spin in his DPi contender early in the 15-minute session.
Taylor recorded a 1:47.773, edging out ESM’s sister No. 22 Nissan DPi of Pipo Derani in fourth.
Felipe Nasr completed the top-five in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya in the second of the Penske Acura DPis in sixth.
Rene Rast, who topped the time charts in Thursday’s night practice, qualified seventh in the No. 77 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P, 0.760 seconds slower than Vautier’s pole-winning time.
As has been the case all weekend, LMP2-spec cars struggled, with Stephen Simpson’s 1:48.742 in the No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson the quickest in 11th overall.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring gets underway Saturday at 10:40 a.m. ET.