Michael Christensen captured the Sebring GTLM pole in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR.
First Pole for Porsche North America Entry, Danish Factory Driver
Sebring. Driving the No. 912 Porsche North America 911 RSR, Michael Christensen (Denmark), in the car he will share with Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), earned the pole position in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class for tomorrow's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The factory BMWs were second and third, with the factory Corvettes fourth and fifth. The other Porsche North America works entry, the No. 911 qualified by Richard Lietz (Austria), was sixth, in the car he co-drives with Nick Tandy (UK) and Patrick Pilet (France).
For Christensen, who took the pole on his first qualifying attempt as a Porsche factory driver, said that the multiple test sessions the team had at Sebring over the winter helped them with the setup, making the car very competitive. And winning the top spot really meant something.
"It's amazing. It's a really good feeling. This is my first time in the Porsche 911 RSR for qualifying for the team. It's great to be in front and show that we're able to fight for front rows positions and for the top of the class. While Sebring might be bumpy and challenging, I like a track that is challenging - where the driver makes a real difference," said Christensen.
Lietz' qualifying effort was also notable, and only three-tenths of a second off the pole position. He ended up sixth in the very competitive GTLM class.
"In qualifying, normally I try to do one quick lap and our car did not have this peak for one lap. It was a very consistent car which makes me confident for the race but unfortunately I could not make the qualifying lap that I wanted to do. But it was consistent and I am looking forward to the race tomorrow," said Lietz. The No. 911 won the GTLM class of Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening round of the TUDOR United SportsCar, in January.
In the GT Daytona class, Leh Keen (Atlanta) put the No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America on the front row in class, missing out on the pole by one-hundredth of a second in the car he races with Philipp Frommenwiler (Switzerland) and Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.). Other Porsche 911 GT America qualifiers were sixth, seventh, ninth - 13th, 15th, 17th and 19th in class.
"The car gets better and better every session," Keen said. "That is what Alex Job and Greg (Fordahl, team engineer) do, just keep improving. We started off a little slow. I have a lot of confidence in this team and we made the changes to get fast. Qualifying was really close and I was really close for the pole. I had some close lap times, I was off pole by a hundredth of a second, I probably had a hundredth out there somewhere," said Keen.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring starts at 10:00 am live on Fox Sports 1, Saturday, March 15, and moves to live streaming coverage on www.imsa.com for the rest of the event.
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 GT3 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 220 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 63-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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