Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki has put the No. 912 Porsche North America 911 RSR on the GTLM pole for the 2015 Sebring event.
Sebring, Florida, March 20, 2015. Porsche has swept the front row of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class for Saturday's 63rd Running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and sits on the outside of the front row in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.
Frédéric Makowiecki's (France) quick lap of Sebring International Raceway resulted in taking the GTLM class pole position in the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
Chasing his fellow Frenchman and fellow works driver across the finish line was Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR. German Mario Farnbacher set the quickest Porsche lap in GTD with the No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America to take second on the class grid. The clock will start on the second-round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at 10:40 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) tomorrow, March 21. Porsche, the 2014 GTLM and GTD Manufacturer Champion, will be seeking its 70th and 71st class victories in the classic American endurance race.
Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche North America factory team brought a pair of Porsche 911 RSR to the 3.74-mile, 17-turn central Florida track for the second-consecutive year. Just as in 2014, the racecar based on the seventh-generation of the iconic Porsche 911 road car, will sit on the pole position in the ultra-competitive GTLM class. Makowiecki, who is making his Sebring debut this weekend, bettered the GT class track record in the 15-minute qualifying session with a time of one-minute, 58.587-seconds. Driving the defending race winning No. 912 with Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Makowiecki was only 0.219-seconds ahead of the team car. Pilet, not willing to let his countryman have the pole without a challenge, put a hard push late with the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR turning a time 1:58.806 in the car he will share with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria).
Driven by Porsche factory drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany), who qualified the car today and Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) with Falken Tire factory driver Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia), the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR was eighth in class with a time of 1:59.787.
Porsche 911 GT America
The Porsche 911 GT America comprises nearly half the GT Daytona class. Based on the Porsche 911 GT3 road car, the six "made for the TUDOR Championship" entries qualified second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth for tomorrow's race. It was Farnbacher in the No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America lapping in 2:03.617 who was quickest of the Porsche lot. Farnbacher trailed a narrow 0.053-seconds off the pole-winning Dodge Viper SRT piloted by Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) to a lap of 2:03.485. The No. 23 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing sister car with Leh Keen (Atlanta) driving, was third quickest with a lap of 2:04.339.
The defending race winner, the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America, was fourth in class with Andy Lally (Dacula, Georgia) turning a 2:04.995. Just off of Lally was fellow Atlantan Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 73 Park Place Racing Porsche with a time of 2:05.043. In seventh was the No. 81 Tully's Coffee GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America with Damien Faulkner (Ireland) and Jan Heylen (Tampa) drove the No. 58 Dempsey Racing with Wright Motorsports Porsche to eighth with a lap of 2:05.059.
The 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring can be seen in its entirety on the FOX and IMSA family of networks. The start will be broadcast at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the FOX Sports 1. At 12:30 p.m. ET it will transition to FOX Sports 2 and will move to IMSA.com for the hours of 7 - 10 p.m. before taking the checkered flag on FOX Sports 2 at 10 p.m. A two-hour highlight show will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 8 a.m., Sunday, March 22. IMSA.com will provide audio coverage of every on-track lap, including practice and qualifying while video streaming of qualifying will be available on the IMSA web site beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, March 20.
Owen Hayes, Director of Operations, Porsche Motorsport North America: "We just concentrated on getting ourselves and our cars prepared and comfortable for the race. It just seemed in this case the race set-up really suited the conditions in qualifying well. But that wasn't our main goal in qualifying. We do push like hell, but our main goal for qualifying was just finding the right set-up for the 12-hour race. But I'm absolutely delighted and thrilled, so proud of the team, for coming back after Daytona. Everyone is sure that tomorrow is still the most important day, but it's a fantastic way to start it off."
Frédéric Makowiecki, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "I am especially happy because it is my first pole in Sebring driving for Porsche and it means a lot to me. I am really happy for the team because the crew worked on the car and it got quicker and quicker each lap. The car was really good for qualifying. It was a bit different from what we expected, we expected to do one or two flying laps and we actually did four. But in the end, the most important thing is the result, and we have a really good car for the race tomorrow."
Patrick Pilet, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "In practice two, it was nearly the same temperature and we were struggling with the car, but we fixed it because already this morning the car was pretty good. We expected less grip in qualifying actually, like in practice two, but it was not the case. There was less grip, but the balance was not oversteer like we expected, so that's why I was getting quicker and quicker, because my balance was too much understeer at the beginning, but it got better and better. We have a good car for the race! For sure, I would have liked to be on pole, but Fred had a great lap. I am pretty confident for the race tomorrow. The team worked very hard on the set-up for the race, so we should have a good chance."
Mario Farnbacher, No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "I tried my best during qualifying. It was a good run - P2. But, it's a long race. Our qualifying is not the race result. Twelve hours of Sebring is a hard race and we'll know more about how good we are at 10 [p.m.] tomorrow. It would mean a lot for me [to win this race]. I've not been in America very long and I am a young driver so it would be awesome to win it. It would also be great for the team. The team worked really hard last year and we had a few chances to win. But, we had some bad luck. This [a win] would be for the crew."
GT Le Mans Qualifying Results
1. No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Frédéric Makowiecki (France), 1:58.587
2. No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, Patrick Pilet (France), 1:58.806
3. No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, Antonio Garcia (Spain), 1:58.828
8. No. 17 Porsche 911 RSR, Wolf Henzler (Germany), 1:59.787
GT Daytona Qualifying Results
1. No. 33 Dodge Viper SRT, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), 2:03.485
2. No. 23 Porsche 911 GT America, Mario Farnbacher (Germany), 2:03.538
3. No. 73 Porsche 911 GT America, Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia), 2:04.106
4. No. 22 Porsche 911 GT America, Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia), 2:04.339
6. No. 81 Porsche 911 GT America, Damien Faulkner (Ireland), 2:04.930
7. No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America, Andy Lally (Atlanta, Georgia) 2:04.944
8. No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America, Jan Heylen (Tampa, Florida), 2:05.059
About Porsche Motorsport North America
Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), located in Santa Ana, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG and the sole sales and service provider for the German sports car maker's North American customer sports programs. Porsche is the largest manufacturer of race cars with a wide range of products from the 911 GT3 Cup car to the ultimate 911 RSR. PMNA sells these models to customer teams in North America and provides them with parts, service and expertise in between races and at the track. The PMNA service truck is a fixture at most race tracks in the U.S. and Canada, staffed by factory engineers to service all of Porsche's customer teams.
About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 270 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 189 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand's 66-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency.
At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.
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