Action Express Racing captures first-ever pole position for the 12 Hours of Sebring

Sebastien Bourdais delivered pole position during qualifying for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Action Express Racing was back out front at Sebring International Raceway on Friday after Sebastien Bourdais delivered the team’s first-ever pole position during qualifying for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The No. 5 Corvette Daytona Prototype posted the quickest time of the 15-minute afternoon session with a fast lap of 1:51.917-seconds on the 3.74-mile circuit.

#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Chevrolet: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sébastien Bourdais
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Chevrolet: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sébastien Bourdais

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

“It was a good run,” said Bourdais, who will share driving duties with fellow Rolex 24 winners Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. “This morning we couldn’t put a lap together because traffic was a big difficulty. It was very hard to get a read on the car in practice because you couldn't do three consecutive corners without encountering traffic so it’s tough to know exactly what the balance of the car is and to get in the rhythm. It’s not going to be any easier tomorrow during the race but at least we have a definite read on how the car is in qualifying. We could put some laps together and I guess we were pretty spot on. Overall the car was quite enjoyable to drive and I just took my time and put some laps together. I’m very happy for the Action Express and Corvette team. We’re in a good place to start after Daytona. The pole is very satisfying but we’ll reset for tomorrow and see where we end up in the race.”

Jon Fogarty, who joined the Action Express line-up for the 12 Hours of Sebring, was tabbed to qualify the No. 9 Corvette DP and posted the 10th quickest time to line up on the outside of Row 5 for the start of the 12 hour race. He will team with brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle in the No. 9 Corvette machine.

“Qualifying started out well and the car felt good,” said Fogarty of the run. “We were one of the first cars out and we were able to put in a good time. We just had a hard time with grip and it took a while for it to come back to me. By that time, everyone else had already put in their good times and just didn’t have it. I think I could have gotten a little more out of it for sure. I definitely have a little bit of a gap to my teammates so I want to research that and try to get that understood and use that to our advantage during the race tomorrow.”

Action Express Racing will look to become the fifth team in history to win both the Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring in the same year.

“Obviously we are very, very pleased,” said Team Owner Bob Johnson. “This is a tremendous result. I thought Sebastien did a phenomenal job because every lap just got quicker and quicker even though there was a lot of pressure coming from behind. He was really cool and kept it together and did an outstanding job. It’s great to come from victory lane right into the pole position here at Sebring. It’s really special to have that here at Sebring because this is a difficult track.”

Bourdais will lead the 64 combined-class field to the green flag tomorrow morning with the race set to begin at 10:15 AM ET.

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Jon Fogarty , Sébastien Bourdais , Joao Barbosa , Brian Frisselle
Teams Action Express Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags action express racing, christian fittipaldi, joao barbosa, sebastien bourdais, sebring