With a split qualifying session affording the GTP cars a nearly open track, several teams opted for a qualifying simulation at the end of the second practice session for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. In what is seldom the fastest time of day at Sebring, Tom Blomqvist dropped the top time from this morning by more than a second, with the next four cars chasing him within the same second.
Blomqvist’s 1m47.049s (125.77mph) lap in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06 topped the second practice session as most of the cars got in a full session, the exception being the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8, which only turned eight laps at the end of the session after changing a faulty torque sensor. It was Acura-Cadillac-Acura-Cadillac followed by the two Porsche Penske Motorsports 963s and the two BMWs.
Sebastien Bourdais fell just 0.026s of besting Blomqvist’s time in the No. 01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, 0.148s ahead of the No.10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura. Ricky Taylor posted a fast time in that car early to lead most of the session, but Louis Deletraz lowered the time in the final minutes. Pipo Derani was fourth in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac, with Nick Tandy setting the best time for the Porsche drivers to put the No. 7 PPM 963 in fifth.
Tommy Milner posted the best GTD PRO time as Corvette Racing seeks to defend its 2022 title. His 2m1.260s time was third overall among the GT cars, leading Ross Gunn in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage by 0.053s. If Milner, Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia were to win, it would be Garcia’s fifth victory, and Corvette’s 13th, at a track Garcia has come to appreciate.
“I think the experience of the drivers, the experience of the team, I would say that’s the biggest thing,” said Garcia of his and the team’s success on the 3.74-mile, 17-turn track. “So when you have a team like Corvette behind you that has done this race for over 20 years now, they must, as a team, or me as a driver … I have almost run every single condition you can find around this track, so that’s pretty big. And then you obviously need to know and like this racetrack, which I do. I find ever since I discovered this racetrack I always find something special about the end of the race finishing up at night.”
Davide Rigon was third in GTD PRO in the No. 61 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 with a 2m01.397s lap. Jack Hawksworth (No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F) was fourth, and Patrick Pilet put the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche into fifth.
Era Motorsport was again on top of LMP2, and again it was Christian Rasmussen setting the fast time for the class at 1m50.506s in the No. 18 ORECA. Nolan Siegel was second for CrowdStrike Racing, 0.767s off Rasmussen’s time in the No. 04, with Paul-Loup Chatin third in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, another half-second back.
The top of the LMP3 chart looked familiar as well, Dakota Dickerson posting a 1m56.382 in the No. 30 Ligier to lead for Jr III Racing over Josh Burdon in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier at 1m56.564s. Nico Varrone was third in the No. 17 AWA Duqueine.
Mercedes-AMG took its turn at the top of the GTD times, Russel Ward posting the fast time of 2m01.218s in the No. 57 Winward machine, just edging Sebastian Priaulx in the No. 80 AO Racing Porsche 911, 0.034s short of Ward’s time. Aaron Telitz was third in the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus with a 2m01.373s lap. It was seventh place before a marque was repeated in the order, another Mercedes-AMG. After the Lexus in third, it was Patrick Gallagher in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, Kyle Marcelli in the No. 93 Racers Edge with WTR Acura NSX, and Marco Sorensen in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage.
The session was interrupted by two red flags, including one for Jack Aitken in the No. 31 Cadillac lokcing up and going off course at Turn 3.
UP NEXT: A 90-minute night practice at 7:45 p.m. ET. The session is critical not only for setting up the cars to be fast at the finish of the Twelve Hour, but also to get required night practice for many drivers who are required to have some in order to drive at night during the race.