NASCAR Race Weekend Central
(Photo: Courtesy of IMSA)

Renger van der Zande Quickest in 12 Hours of Sebring Practice

Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande was fastest overall in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice Thursday (Nov. 12) at Sebring International Raceway with a lap at 125.272 mph.

Practice No. 1

In the morning practice, Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves was fastest overall with a lap at 123.116 mph in his Acura ARX-05.  Castroneves’ lap was three-hundredths of a second faster than JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Sebastien Bourdais in his Cadillac.  Teammate Matheus Leist was third, followed by Wayne Taylor Racing’s Ryan Briscoe.  Action Express Racing’s Felipe Nasr was fifth.

LMP2 was topped by PR1 Mathaisen Motorsports’ Simon Trummer with a lap at 120.171 mph, good for ninth overall.  Trummer’s lap was nearly a full second faster than Inter Europol Competition’s Matt Bell.  Tower Motorsport by Starworks’ David Heinemeier Hansson was third.

For Performance Tech Motorsports, they ran into some trouble during the session when Patrick Byrne went off-course in turn 3.  This forced the red flag to be displayed.  The team was able to get their car repaired in time for the second session.

In GT Le Mans’ Porsche GT Team’s Frederic Makowiecki was fastest with a lap at 113.413 mph, good enough for 13th overall.  Makowiecki was three-eighths of a second quicker than teammate Laurens Vanthoor.  BMW Team RLL’s Connor de Phillippi was third quickest, followed by Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor.

GT Daytona saw AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth go fastest with a lap at 109.498 mph.  Hawksworth’s best lap was nearly a third of a second faster than the Porsche of Wright Motorsports’ Patrick LongTownsend Bell in the second AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus was third quickest, followed by the Audi of Hardpoint Motorsports’ Andrew Davis.  Riley Motorsports’ Lawson Aschenbach was fifth quickest.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 12 HOURS OF SEBRING PRESENTED BY ADVANCE AUTO PARTS PRACTICE NO. 1 RESULTS

Practice No. 2

In between the first two sessions, rain bands from Tropical Storm Eta swept through Sebring.  As a result, the track was damp in places when the green flag came out to start the session.  Most chose to start on slicks.  The few teams that ventured out on wet tires quickly stopped to put their slicks on.

For Wayne Taylor Racing, they were fourth in the first session, but had gearbox issues.  A transmission change meant that they started the session behind the ball.  Van der Zande was able to make up for lost time by posting the fastest lap of the day right at the end of practice.

Van der Zande’s lap was one-sixth of a second faster than the similar Cadillac of Bourdais.  Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani was third quickest, then Mazda Motorsports’ Oliver Jarvis.  Acura Team Penske’s Alexander Rossi was fifth.

LMP2 saw Tower Motorsport by Starworks’ Mikkel Jensen go fastest with a lap at 120.573 mph.  This was a quarter of a second faster than Trummer.  Matt Bell was third.

Porsche GT Team’s stars and stripes-laden 911 RSR-19s were on top in GT Le Mans once again.  This time, it was Vanthoor that was fastest with a lap at 114.126 mph.  Vanthoor was two-tenths of a second faster than Makowiecki and nearly a half-second faster than Jordan Taylor.  BMW Team RLL’s Jesse Krohn was fourth, while Colton Herta was fifth.

GRT Grasser Racing Team’s Steijn Schothorst was fastest in GT Daytona with a lap at 110.043 mph in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.  Schothorst was a tenth of a second faster than the similar Lamborghini of Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers.  Wright Motorsports’ Jan Heylen was third, followed by AIM Vasser Sullivan teammates Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo.

The 90-minute night session had no red flags, but there were a couple of incidents.  Hardpoint Motorsports’ Audi spun out twice during the session, once with Davis driving and another with Pierre Kaffer behind the wheel.  Heylen also spun the Wright Motorsports Porsche at turn 7.  All were able to continue without incident.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 12 HOURS OF SEBRING PRESENTED BY ADVANCE AUTO PARTS PRACTICE NO. 2 RESULTS

Practice No. 3

Much like the Motul Petit Le Mans last month, this year’s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring will have much more of the race take place at night as compared to normal years.  Getting the car right in the dark is going to be key.

In the South Florida darkness, Ricky Taylor was fastest with a lap at 124.255 mph in his Acura ARX-05.  Ricky’s lap was one-sixth of a second faster than Derani.  Mazda Motorsports’ Olivier Pla was third, then Briscoe and Dane Cameron.

Jensen was once again fastest in LMP2, this time with a lap at 122.259 mph, the fastest LMP2 lap of the day.  The lap was nearly two seconds faster than Trummer, while Matt Bell was once again in third.

Nick Tandy was fastest in GT Le Mans with a lap at 113.938 mph.  This was three-hundredths of a second faster than Vanthoor.  De Phillippi was third, followed by Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and BMW Team RLL’s Augusto Farfus.

Finally, GRT Grasser Racing Team’s Franck Perera was quickest in GT Daytona with a lap at 109.901 mph in his Lamborghini.  Perera was an eighth of a second faster than Aschenbach’s Mercedes.  The Heart of Racing’s Ian James was third quickest in his Aston Martin, while Davis was fifth.  Scuderia Corsa’s Alessandro Balzan was fifth in his Ferrari.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 12 HOURS OF SEBRING PRESENTED BY ADVANCE AUTO PARTS PRACTICE NO. 3 RESULTS

Qualifying for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday morning.  The session will be streamed live at IMSA.com.

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About Phil Allaway

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Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.