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Sebring Pre-Race Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s pre-race notebook from Sebring International Raceway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Mike Rockenfeller led the 20-minute morning warmup in the No. 90 Racing Corvette DP at 1:54.092. Other class leaders included Renger van der Zande (No. 8 Starworks Motorsport, PC), Bryan Sellers (No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM) and Patrick Lindsey (No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, GTD). There were no red flags in the session.

***The pair of BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE entries didn’t run in the warmup session, opting instead to practice driver changes in the pits. Magnus Racing also was not out in the session in the No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America.

***The SpeedSource Mazda team has changed the engine on its No. 07 SKYACTIV-D prototype, citing an ongoing issue with its glow plugs. The No. 07 car and the No. 50 Fifty Plus Racing Riley-Dinan BMW did not set times during Friday’s qualifying, but both returned to the track during the morning warmup session.

***Various balance issues have plagued the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford throughout the week, with Joey Hand only able to qualify ninth on Friday. If Ganassi’s No. 01 can win on Saturday, it will be the first team to win Daytona and Sebring overall back-to-back since Gianpiero Moretti’s MOMO Ferrari 333 SP team did in 1998.

***It will be a busy few days for Tequila Patron ESM, as the team and its two HPD ARX-03bs will travel to Paul Ricard for the mandatory FIA WEC Prologue pre-season test next week. Operations Director Robin Hill told Sportscar365 the cars will be airfreighted from Orlando to London on Sunday afternoon, clear customs in the U.K., then travel by truck to Paul Ricard in time for the two-day test, which begins on Friday.

***Hill said the cars will be prepped to FIA WEC-spec at Sebring late tonight after the race, which includes different electronics and safety related components, as well as the installation of two fresh Honda powerplants. With some of the team’s drivers unavailable due to other commitments, only ESM team owner Scott Sharp and Ed Brown will be present in France.

***The GTD class polesitting No. 33 TI Automotive/Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R is the same chassis (No. 001) that burned to the ground at last year’s Sebring race. Meanwhile the second car, the No. 93 Viper, has won three of the last seven GTD races heading into today’s race.

***Only three drivers, Spencer Pumpelly, Andrew Davis and Andy Lally, are pulling double duty this week between today’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Friday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Microsoft Visual Studio 150. Davis has a shot at a double win, after scoring the overall victory on Friday.

***Continental Tire has brought roughly 5,400 tires to Sebring to accommodate two series and a total of 14.5 hours of racing this week. All cars run on Continental’s Black compound.

***Watch flag-to-flag coverage of today’s race between the FOX family of networks and The race will be on from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1, 12:30-7 p.m. on FOX Sports 2, 7-10 p.m. on and 10-11 p.m. FOX Sports 2. Full radio coverage for the duration of the race will be provided on IMSA Radio.

John Dagys contributed to this report

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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