Bourdais leads Sebring class poles for second TUDOR race

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Sebastien Bourdais (P and overall), Bruno Junqueira (PC), Michael Christensen (GTLM) and Dane Cameron (GTD) have secured the four pole positions for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Bourdais laid down a 1:51.917 to score the top spot for the Rolex 24 at Daytona-winning No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. He’ll co-drive in the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi.

Olivier Pla took OAK Racing’s No. 42 Morgan Nissan to second at 1:52.086. He’ll co-drive with Alex Brundle and Gustavo Yacaman.

Junqueira laid down a ridiculously quick time in the spec-ORECA FLM09 class, some 0.76 seconds clear of the field in the No. 09 RSR Racing entry. His time of 1:54.839 makes his second pole at Sebring, as he also won the class pole for RSR in 2012.

The Brazilian will co-drive with Duncan Ende and David Heinemeier Hansson in Saturday’s race.

The 8Star and Performance Tech PC class cars were second and third.

Porsche North America took the GT Le Mans class pole with Sebring debutante Michael Christensen in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR at 1:58.933. His co-drivers are Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister.

Two Porsches, BMWS and Corvettes apiece made up the top six, and combined were separated by under four tenths of a second.

Dane Cameron took the GT Daytona class pole in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3, at a track that suits this car better. His co-drivers for Saturday are Paul Dalla Lana, Markus Palttala and Shane Lewis.

Cameron’s time of 2:04.258 was one-hundredth of a second better than the second-placed Leh Keen in the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America.

An SRT Viper GT3-R, Aston Martin Vantage and Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 apiece rounded out the top five in class.

The race goes green past 10:15 a.m. ET on Saturday morning.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.