Chip Ganassi Racing/Scott Dixon fastest in Sebring

IndyCar champion tops in the Daytona Prototype

Chip Ganassi Racing/Scott Dixon fastest in Sebring

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.

Saturday’s race serves as both the second round of the TUDOR Championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. The event begins at 10:15 a.m. ET with live FOX Sports 1 coverage from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET and the remainder of the event streamed on IMSA.com. FOX Sports 1 also will air a three-hour highlight telecast on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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 (P) 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).

#07 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Tristan Nunez, Joel Miller, Tristan Vautier
#07 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Tristan Nunez, Joel Miller, Tristan Vautier

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

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 (PC), 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.

IMSA

shares
comments
Risi Competizione tops GT practice

Previous article

Risi Competizione tops GT practice

Next article

Dempsey Racing gets a feel for Sebring with solid Thursday practice

Dempsey Racing gets a feel for Sebring with solid Thursday practice
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020