Motorsport News

Pipo Derani Wins Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Pole

Alexander Sims practicing for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, 3/16/2023 (Photo: Courtesy of IMSA)

Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani won the pole Friday morning (March 17) for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring with a lap at 127.216 mph. It is Derani’s second career pole on the 3.74-mile bumpy circuit.

A 9:10 a.m. ET start time for qualifying meant that track conditions were absolutely ideal to set quick times in Sebring. The teams obliged.

It didn’t take long for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Ricky Taylor to set the fastest lap of the weekend and give the others something to shoot at. The Cadillacs were up to the challenge.

Derani set the lap that ultimately won the pole with seven minutes to go. Sebastien Bourdais put his No. 01 Cadillac second on the grid shortly afterwards. Everyone was working to put down their best laps, but that didn’t come to pass.

With just under five minutes to go, Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Matt Campbell clipped the inside wall in turn 1 on a quick lap. He then spun and went into the tires to bring out a red flag.

With the minimum of 15 of 20 minutes complete at the time of the crash, IMSA declared the session complete, giving Derani the pole. His qualifying lap would have qualified him fourth for today’s FIA World Endurance Championship 1000 Miles of Sebring, faster than any of the LMDh prototypes Thursday evening.

Derani’s lap was .087 seconds quicker than Bourdais. Taylor will start third, followed by Mathieu Jaminet in the No. 6 Porsche. Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Tom Blomqvist will start fifth.

LMP2 saw TDS Racing’s Francois Heriau set a quick time early on. That lap stood until the final moments of the session when PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Ben Keating turned in a lap at 120.451 mph to win the pole.

Keating’s lap was .12 seconds faster than Heriau. Heriau’s teammate Steven Thomas was on a hot lap, but went wide at the hairpin and had to settle for third. Crowdstrike Racing by APR’s George Kurtz will start fourth, while Dennis Andersen will start the High Class Racing entry in fifth.

Andersen’s session was far from clean as he spun his No. 20 in the hairpin and had a heck of a time getting back underway. Riley Motorsports’ Gar Robinson also ended up spinning

In LMP3, the requirement for amateur drivers to qualify led to a slow buildup. Eventually, Andretti Autosport’s Glenn van Berlo set a lap at 116.860 mph that is an LMP3 track record. From there, the rest of the class took…

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