Sebring Fla. (16 March 2018) – With 65 editions of the Sebring 12 Hours in the history books, the anticipation continues to grow ahead of the 66th running of the fabled event on Saturday as IMSA stages round two of the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The race is well accepted as one of the biggest challenges in the sport thanks to the tough traffic flow among the three classes in action, big variations in track conditions owing to the wide range of temperatures on offer each day, as well as the rough and tumble surface that includes bumps, high-speed corners, and a number of slow speed sections that attract widespread passing moves.
Up for that challenge are the two Action Express Racing managed entries that will both look to continue their strong start to the 2018 season on Saturday. Ahead of the race, Friday saw the grid set for Saturday’s (FS1 10:30 AM ET live coverage) event with a 15-minute qualifying session.
After taking the runner up spot at Daytona, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr (BRA), 2016 IMSA Champion Eric Curran (USA), and Mike Conway (UK) will target the top step on Saturday night. Nasr took the controls for qualifying, locking in fifth on the grid with his quick lap time of 1:47.853-seconds.
“It was a clean qualifying session from our side,” Nasr said. “We struggled with the balance of the car a little bit, I had some understeer. I was able to get a clean lap, I gave the tires lots of laps to get up to temperature. It is pretty close, just a couple of tenths to the front. We are starting P5. Not where we want to be, but plenty of race to make it up. We are thinking of the big picture tomorrow. The track here is very challenging for driver and car. With the bumps you get cars going off and bringing dirt onto the track. At night it gets pretty chaotic and drivers make mistakes. We need to let them make mistakes and we need to run a clean race. We have a nice package in our hands to fight for the win.”
The Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing DPi-V.R of Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi (BRA) and Joao Barbosa (PRT) will take the green flag from seventh on the grid after Albuquerque posted a quick time of 1:48.256-seconds.
“We didn’t start the morning off like we wanted to-we had a small issue so we didn’t get all the track time that we wanted,” Albuquerque said. “But the guys got it fixed all set and we were ready to go. In qualifying the car felt good on the first lap, the balance went away a bit after that. We have a smart team and we will make some adjustments for the 12-hour race and be ready to go.”
Saturday will open with an 8:00 AM ET warm-up ahead of the 10:40 AM race start.
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