ZACH ROBICHON AND PFAFF MOTORSPORTS HINDERED BY ABS ISSUES TO START 13TH
The first part of GTD qualifying determined the starting grid for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring saw some surprises during the 15 minutes session.
Unfortunately for Zach Robichon and Pfaff Motorsports, they constantly dealt with ABS issues as on two occasions at the same corner Robichon could not slow down his Porsche 911 GT3 R enough and had to go off-track. The first time lightly making contact with the tire wall and avoided the wall the second time.
Daniel Morad was seen in the mid-pack until the late stage of the session where he started to better his time lap after lap. On his very last lap as he received the checkered flag to end his session, Morad stopped the clock with a lap of 2:00.272 to move the Alegra Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 to third place.
Mikaël Grenier’s teammate Kenny Habul was in charge of qualifying the SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 and set a best time of 2:01.684 good for eight place on the grid.
Ian James qualified The Heart of Racing’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 setting a time of 2:01.698 for ninth place.
The Motul Pole Award went to #19 GRT Grasser Racing Team and Tim Zimmerman with a fastest time of 2:00.010, 0.067s faster than second place Jan Heylen with the #16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R (2:00.077). Daniel Morad ended up third, 0.262s behind the pole sitter.
Qualifying result here
The second part of qualifying was to award points towards the Championship standings and for this, a PRO rated driver had to be behind the wheel.
Laurens Vanthoor was at the wheel of the Pfaff Motorsports Motul Porsche 911 GT3 R with hopefully the ABS issues resolved. Roman De Angelis was chosen to drive #23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Maro Engel was at the wheel of the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 and Billy Johnson for #28 Alegra Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3.
Pfaff Motorsports seemed to have solved the issues as Vanthoor, after running wide at the exit of corner 1, put a lap together in the middle of the session that would be good enough for second place with a blistering 1:59.617 that was only 0.370s off from the fastest time set by Jack Hawksworth in Vasser Sullivan’s Lexus RC F GT3 (1:59.247). Third went to Franck Perera in the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with a 1:59.711.
Maro Engel had a flying lap on his last attempt and came in fourth for the #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with a 1:59.848. Heart Of Racing driver, Roman De Angelis, set a best lap of 2:00.307 that placed him in ninth. Alegra Motorsports’ Billy Johnson came in 10th place with a 2:00.328.
Qualifying results for points here
The grid is now set for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with a green flag scheduled for 10:10am Saturday morning. Canadian fans will be able to follow the live coverage of the race on Velocity and TSN is to broadcast a tape delayed 1-hour broadcast following the race.
EDITED: Following qualifying tech inspection, Pole sitter #19 GRT Grasser Racing Team has been found to have violated GTD Telemetry regulations and therefore has been disqualified and will start the race at the back of the GTD field.
Image courtesy IMSA / Jake Galstad
Photographer & Editor