SBRS: Barber Dodge Sebring Qualifying

Rocky Moran Jr. Tops First Barber Dodge Qualifying at Sebring SEBRING, Fla. (March 18) - Rocky Moran Jr. of Coto de Caza, Calif. waited until the final lap, then turned in the quickest time of the day in the first qualifying session for Round 1...

Rocky Moran Jr. Tops First Barber Dodge Qualifying at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (March 18) - Rocky Moran Jr. of Coto de Caza, Calif. waited until the final lap, then turned in the quickest time of the day in the first qualifying session for Round 1 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the 12 Hours of Sebring Thursday afternoon. Moran submitted an early claim for a new series record on the 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway circuit with a fastest lap of 2:07.373 at 104.575 mph. Sepp Koster of the Netherlands currently holds the qualifying record with a 2:10.943/101.724 mph set in 1998 - a mark that was bettered by 30 drivers in Thursday's session. New records are not officially recognized by the Barber Dodge Pro Series until the end of both 30-minute qualifying sessions. "I knew the car had the speed in it," said the 19-year old Moran, who is entering his fourth year as a professional driver and trying to win his first Barber Dodge pole. "It's always so close. It could rain tomorrow and I could get lucky. I'll just go out there and try to do it again." Moran edged out Michael Valiante of Vancouver, British Columbia for the top spot in the session. Valiante, driving in his first professional race, topped the board several times in the half-hour before dropping just behind Moran with a 2:07.662 at 104.338 mph. "I think my last lap was actually my quickest, but there was a car in the tower turn (turn 13) that spun, so I had to slow down quite a bit," Valiante said. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow, we'll see what happens." Another Pro Series newcomer, Vanderlan Junior of Goiania, Brazil, was third with a best time of 2:07.825 at 104.338 mph. Townsend Bell of Los Altos Hills, Calif. (2:07.854/104.181 mph) and defending Barber Dodge Pro Series champion Jeff Simmons of East Granby, Conn. (2:07.867/104.171 mph) completed the list of the top five qualifiers. The top 14 drivers in the 31-car field were all within a second of Moran's time. Rookie Juan Jose Font of Caracas, Venezuela (2:07.932/104.118 mph) was sixth fastest, with Nilton Rossoni of Curitiba, Brazil (2:07.945/104.107 mph), Todd Snyder of Shefield, Mass. (2:07.962/104.093 mph), Eric Tresslar of Denver, Colo. (2:08.232/103.874 mph) and Matt Plumb of Unionville, Penn. (2:08.234/103.873 mph) rounding out the top ten. The final qualifying session will be held Friday at 10:45 a.m. Moran expects the times to improve with cooler temperatures than the 79 degree heat, which was amplified on the track, of Thursday's early afternoon session. "The track was pretty greasy. It seemed to get worse from the (morning) practice - it was definitely much more greasy. I think 2:06's are still possible," Moran said.

Pos Car# Driver/Hometown Fastest Lap MPH

1 (71) Rocky Moran, Jr./Coto de Caza, Calif. 2:07.373 104.575

2 (95) Michael Valiante/Vancouver,Canada 2:07.662 104.338

3 (12) Vanderlan Junior/Goiania, Brazil 2:07.825 104.205

4 (25) Townsend Bell/Los Altos Hills, Calif. 2:07.854 104.181

5 (1) Jeff Simmons/East Granby, Conn. 2:07.867 104.171

6 (14) Juan Jose Font/Caracas,Venezuela 2:07.932 104.118

7 (36) Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil 2:07.945 104.107

8 (11) Todd Snyder/Sheffield, Mass. 2:07.962 104.093

9 (22) Eric Tresslar/Denver, Colo. 2:08.232 103.874

10 (17) Matt Plumb/Unionville, Pa. 2:08.234 103.873

11 (8) Roger Yasukawa/Santa Monica, Calif. 2:08.235 103.872

12 (19) Andre Grillo/Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil 2:08.311 103.810

13 (7) Sepp Koster/The Netherlands 2:08.350 103.779

14 (55) John McCaig/Victoria, B.C., Canada 2:08.361 103.770

15 (6) Peter Boss/Narragansett, R.I. 2:08.473 103.679

16 (13) R. B. Stiewing/Lime Rock, Conn. 2:08.481 103.673

17 (31) Iradj Alexander/Switzerland 2:08.528 103.635

18 (15) Memo Rojas, Jr./Mexico City, Mexico 2:08.690 103.505

19 (2) Jamie Menninga/Pella, Iowa 2:08.714 103.485

20 (49) Tim Bergmeister/Bergheim,Germany 2:08.838 103.386

21 (3) Josh Rehm/ Plymouth, Mass. 2:08.885 103.348

22 (18) Giovanni Anapoli/Vicenza, Italy 2:08.901 103.335

23 (85) Brian Pelke/Lansing, Ill. 2:09.425 102.917

24 (52) Jon Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif. 2:09.460 102.889

25 (27) Victor Gonzalez, Jr./Hatorey, PR 2:09.607 102.772

26 (59) Gregg Borland/Elkhart Lake, Wis. 2:09.699 102.699

27 (4) Brent Sherman/ Northbrook, Ill. 2:09.873 102.562

28 (34) Jarrett Boon/Phoenix, Ariz. 2:10.038 102.432

29 (73) Diego Fernando Mejia/Bogota,Colombia 2:10.281 102.241

30 (5) Charles Willis/Germantown, Tenn. 2:10.320 102.210

31 (77) Scott Mayer/Franklin, Wis. 2:13.862 99.505

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Peter Boss , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , Rocky Moran Jr. , Townsend Bell , Brent Sherman , Memo Rojas , Roger Yasukawa , Nilton Rossoni , Sepp Koster , Scott Mayer , Jeff Simmons , Todd Snyder , Iradj Alexander-David , Matt Plumb , Rocky Moran , Tim Bergmeister , Jarrett Boon