Dixon Fastest in Practice

02 car

Three-time and defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon had the fastest lap of the day on Thursday, at 1 minute, 52.357 seconds (119.832 mph) in the Ford he co-drives with fellow open-wheel drivers Tony Kanaan and Sage Karam to lead the Prototype class. (Photo: Courtesy of IMSA)

SEBRING, Fla. - The No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates came out of the blocks strong in Thursday’s practice sessions, leading TUDOR United SportsCar Championship preparation for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

Three-time and defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon had the fastest lap of the day on Thursday, at 1 minute, 52.357 seconds (119.832 mph) in the Ford he co-drives with fellow open-wheel drivers Tony Kanaan and Sage Karam to lead the Prototype class. After running his best lap in the first of three sessions, Dixon also was fastest in night practice with a lap of 1:53.090 (119.056 mph).

“Obviously, it’s never a bad thing unloading fast off the truck and we were pleased pacing the opening session,” Dixon said. “The Ganassi team has done a great job, both in testing and getting the Prototype where it needed to be since the Rolex 24 At Daytona.”

The team to beat entering the race is the No. 5 Corvette DP, with Action Express Racing bringing back the same lineup of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais that won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. Barbosa posted the third-fastest lap in the first practice, running 1:53.404 (118.726 mph), and was second-fastest in night practice with a lap of 1:53.654 (118.465 mph).

“We did a lot of homework over the winter, and in my opinion, it’s paying off,” Fittipaldi said. “We’re really comfortable again [like the team was at Daytona]. We know the competition is tough – by no means are we underestimating the competition. I think we had a small advantage at Daytona. I think they closed up the gap a little bit here, so we need to continue reinventing things on the car to make us go quicker. We have the same mindset as Daytona. Everything’s under control. We’re ready to race.”

Second-fastest of the day was Alex Brundle, who ran 1:52.858 (119.300 mph) in the No. 42 Morgan/Nissan of OAK Racing co-driven by Gustavo Yacaman and Olivier Pla. Fourth behind the Action Express No. 5 Corvette was the No. 60 Ford EcoBoost/Riley of Michael Shank Racing’s Ozz Negri, John Pew and Justin Wilson with a lap of 1:53.484 (118.642 mph). They were followed by the No. 6 Nissan/ORECA of Muscle Milk Pickett Racing with co-drivers Klaus Graf, Lucas Luhr and Jann Mardenborough running 1:53.569 (118.553 mph).

Braun Fastest In Prototype Challenge For Daytona-Winning CORE autosport
Looking to follow up CORE autosport’s victorious start to the season at Daytona in Prototype Challenge, Colin Braun was fastest in Thursday practice driving the No. 54 ORECA FLM09. Braun ran a lap of 1:55.382 seconds (116.691 mph) in the car he co-drives with Jon Bennett and James Gue.

“Obviously, we’ve been working hard since Daytona, trying to improve our car,” Braun said. “Coming here, we had a good plan laid out since we were not able to test here and this is our first time at Sebring since last year’s race. We have a lot of things to work through, but Jon (Bennett) and James (Gue) are doing a good job. We’re just trying to execute our plan.”

Second in PC was the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry of Raphael Matos, Charlie Shears and David Ostella, running 1:56.633 (115.439 mph), followed by the No. 09 RSR Racing entry of Duncan Ende, Bruno Junqueira and David Heinemeier Hansson, 1:56.695 (115.378 mph).

Qualifying begins at 4:10 p.m. ET Friday, with 15-minute sessions for each of the four classes. There will also be a one-hour final practice session beginning at 9:55 a.m.

Saturday’s race serves as both the second round of the TUDOR Championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

Ferrari’s Malucelli Fastest For Risi Competizione
For Risi Competizione, being able to participate at Sebring is a fete in itself after the team’s No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia was destroyed in an accident in the early hours of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Leading the opening GT Le Mans practice session in a brand-new car was an even greater accomplishment.

Fittingly, it was Matteo Malucelli – who was briefly hospitalized after the Daytona incident – at the wheel for the day’s best lap of 1 minute, 59.394 seconds (112.769 mph) in the car he co-drives with Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni.

“We are confident for Saturday, because we are on a good pace and the car is quite good,” Malucelli said. “We know that the race is 12 hours and that’s a long way. We were lucky, because it was a bad accident [at Daytona], but that’s racing. Now we are restarting from this point, and I just hope we are luckier here.”

Corvette Racing took the next two positions in GTLM. Tommy Milner was second in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R co-driven by Oliver Gavin and Robin Liddell, running 2:00.027 (112.175 mph), followed by Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R shared with Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe, which ran 2:00.111 (112.096 mph).

Davison Fastest In GTD In AMR-TRG Aston Martin
TRG-AMR’s James Davison led the GT Daytona class with a lap of 2 minutes, 3.762 seconds (108.780 mph) in the No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage shared by Al Carter and David Block. The car escaped serious damage near the end of night practice when Davison hit debris, cut the right-front tire and spun.

“We had a bit of bad luck tonight, but these things happen,” Davison said. “Our outright performance is obviously there. We did a simulated qualifying run this morning, and we clearly had a competitive lap time. But this is a 12-hour race, and we’ve got a bit of work to give our car a good balance on the longer runs.”

Carter ran in Thursday’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo race to get additional track time, and wound up winning the event.

“I’ve had only one race at Sebring under my belt before today, and one race in the Aston Martin at Daytona, so I’m still getting used to it,” Carter said. “But we’ve put together a nice two-car deal for the season, and we’re looking to be competitive, not only for this weekend, but for the entire season. Running in the Lamborghini today really helped me, because Sebring is so unique and the extra track time really helped.”

Second with a lap of 2:03.800 (108.756 mph) was the No. 30 Porsche 911 GT America of MOMO/NGT Motorsport driven by Kuba Giermaziak and co-driven by Henrique Cisneros and Christina Nielsen. Third was the No. 13 BMW M3 of Rum Bum Racing’s Jan Heylen, Madison Snow and brothers Matt and Hugh Plumb, running 2:04.307 (108.312 mph).

Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Saturday's 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring beginning at 10 a.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.

Race Center

Road America

@ Road America
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Radio Start:
MRN, 4:45 p.m. (ET)

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