SEBRING, Fla.—Ryan Briscoe is no longer a “former IndyCar star;” he has become a legitimate sportscar racing star, which he proved by winning the GT Le Mans class pole for the 65th IMSA WeatherTech Mobil Twelve Hours of Sebring Friday afternoon (March 17.)
Briscoe, driving the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi racing Ford GT, broke the existing GTLM lap record by more than two seconds, turning in a time of 1:55.939 at 116.1 mph.
After the session Briscoe said he was “really, really happy.
“We’ve been struggling a bit in practice. It’s been a war trying to figure out the setup. We really nailed it for qualifying. The car was handling really well. It made me really happy. So it should put us in a good place tomorrow for the race.”
Briscoe’s team mate D. Mueller in the #66 Ford GT qualified second with a lap of 1:56.175 at 115.8 mph, ahead of Corvette Racing’s Tom Milner who lapped in 1:56.252 at 115.7 mph in the #4 C7.R.
SunEnergy Captures GTD Pole
Another IndyCar alumnus, Tristan Vautier driving the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 broke the GT Daytona lap record by more than two seconds with his pole-winning lap of 1:59.738 at 112.4 mph.
“We are a new team and being on pole in only our second race is obviously very good for us,” Vautier told IMSA.com. “Tomorrow is twelve hours of racing and pit stops will be hard on us because we are a new team, but we train a lot (on that).
“We think the pace will be there and its all about executing in the pits and with strategy and by not making many mistakes and being there for the last two hours to set ourselves up for the good finish.
“It’s gonna be tough, it’s a very competitive class. We’ve seen at Daytona; there were five or six cars that could win in the last 20 minutes, it was that packed up.
“I am used to it, running in Blancpain [a European GT series] there are 50 cars on track, 60 cars sometimes, and so big packs and similar cars with similar pace around you at all times.
“Very small details make the difference so that’s why we need to be very good at executing.”
The 65th IMSA WeatherTech Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring starts at 10:40 a.m. Saturday, March 18.
Tickets are available by calling (800) 626-RACE or visiting the Sebring Raceway website.
The event will be televised on FoxSports Go, FoxSports 1, and on IMSA.tv. Check the listing on the IMSA website for details.