SBRS: Sebring Final Qualifying

Moran Tops Final Barber Dodge Qualifying at 12 Hours of Sebring SEBRING, Fla. (March 19) - Rocky Moran Jr. was happy to trade a night of insomnia for a few tenths of a second off his lap time. Judging by his success in the final qualifying ...

Moran Tops Final Barber Dodge Qualifying at 12 Hours of Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (March 19) - Rocky Moran Jr. was happy to trade a night of insomnia for a few tenths of a second off his lap time. Judging by his success in the final qualifying session for the Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the 12 Hours of Sebring, another sleepless night may lie ahead.

Moran won his first career Barber Dodge Pro Series pole position Friday morning with a series record lap of 2:07.016 averaging 104.869 mph on the 17-turn, 3.7-mile road course circuit. The 19-year old Coto de Caza, Calif. native lopped over three and a half seconds off the previous mark of 2:10.943/101.724 mph, set by Sepp Koster of the Netherlands in 1998.

"This is like the second or third time that I had the pole the night before (final qualifying) but I never got to keep it. So obviously it feels really good to have held on to it," Moran said. "I could barely sleep last night."

Moran edged out a competitive field that saw 14 drivers clustered within a second of his grid-topping time. Nilton Rossoni of Curitiba Brazil, a two-time race winner in 1998, will start on the outside of the front row with a best lap of 2:07.061 at 104.832.

"Today the track was much better than yesterday. We didn't change much of the car setup because we knew that the track would be colder. It worked pretty well," Rossoni said. "As the session went on, it kept getting faster."

Defending Barber Dodge champion Jeff Simmons of East Granby, Conn. (2:07.514/104.459 mph) secured the third slot, while rookies Juan Jose Font of Caracas, Venezuela (2:07.522/104.453 mph) and Michael Valiante of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2:07.662/104.338 mph) completed the top five. Simmons, who had missed the Sebring race last year with a broken leg, was happy to get back in the driver's seat after the winter break.

"It's good to start the season again. I don't really like having an offseason - I wish I could drive all the time," Simmons commented.

Memo Rojas Jr. of Mexico City, Mexico (2:07.681/104.322 mph) will start sixth. Four rookies complete the top 10, with Roger Yasukawa of Santa Monica, Calif. (2:07.696/104.310 mph) seventh, followed by Matt Plumb of Unionville, Penn. (2:07.715/104.295 mph), Josh Rehm of Plymouth, Mass. (2:07.721/104.290 mph) and Vanderlan Junior of Goiania, Brazil (2:07.747/104.269 mph).

The 40-minute timed Barber Dodge Pro Series race is scheduled to begin at 8:40 a.m. EST. Moran isn't planning on a relaxing evening despite his prime starting slot.

"I think it'll be a close race tomorrow. There are so many long straightaways and it's really hard when you're on the pole to just drive away with all the drafting ability that the guys behind you have," Moran noted. "It's a good place to start, but hopefully that's where you want to end up. That's the most thing important thing."

Pos Car# Driver/Hometown Fastest Lap MPH

1 (71) Rocky Moran, Jr./Coto de Caza, Calif. 2:07.016 104.869

2 (36) Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil 2:07.061 104.832

3 (1) Jeff Simmons/East Granby, Conn. 2:07.514 104.459

4 (14) Juan Jose Font/Caracas,Venezuela 2:07.522 104.453

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

6 (15) Memo Rojas, Jr./Mexico City, Mexico 2:07.681 104.322

7 (8) Roger Yasukawa/Santa Monica, Calif. 2:07.696 104.310

8 (17) Matt Plumb/Unionville, Pa. 2:07.715 104.295

9 (3) Josh Rehm/ Plymouth, Mass. 2:07.721 104.290

10 (12) Vanderlan Junior/Goiania, Brazil 2:07.747 104.269

11 (25) Townsend Bell/Los Altos Hills, Calif. 2:07.828 104.203

12 (31) Iradj Alexander/Switzerland 2:07.881 104.159

13 (7) Sepp Koster/The Netherlands 2:07.953 104.101

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

15 (6) Peter Boss/Narragansett, R.I. 2:08.135 103.953

16 (22) Eric Tresslar/Denver, Colo. 2:08.168 103.926

17 (19) Andre Grillo/Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil 2:08.257 103.854

18 (2) Jamie Menninga/Pella, Iowa 2:08.294 103.824

19 (55) John McCaig/Victoria, B.C., Canada 2:08.335 103.791

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

21 (52) Jon Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif. 2:08.672 103.519

22 (49) Tim Bergmeister/Bergheim,Germany 2:08.827 103.394

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

24 (59) Gregg Borland/Elkhart Lake, Wis. 2:09.089 103.185

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

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

27 (4) Brent Sherman/ Northbrook, Ill. 2:09.647 102.741

28 (34) Jarrett Boon/Phoenix, Ariz. 2:09.963 102.491

29 (73) Diego Fernando Mejia/Bogota,Colombia 2:10.220 102.288

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

31 (77) Scott Mayer/Franklin, Wis. 2:13.159 100.031

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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 , Matt Plumb , Rocky Moran , Tim Bergmeister , Alexander Iradj , Jarrett Boon