IMSA admits incorrect calls during 12 Hours of Sebring

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IMSA has admitted this evening that it made two incorrect calls during today’s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.

The No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche was called for a stop-and-hold plus 80-second penalty after it was deemed to have made contact with the No. 49 Spirit of Race Ferrari during Hour 7.

However, while the No. 49 Ferrari was indeed tagged by a Porsche – not once, but twice – it was not by the No. 22 AJR Porsche. Each of Porsche North America’s two entries, the No. 911 and No. 912, managed to make contact with the No. 49 in the race.

The AJR and Porsche NA machines carry similar grey and white paint jobs, but run in different classes: The AJR Porsche in GT Daytona, the Porsche NA cars in GT Le Mans. Additionally, they run different tires (AJR has Continentals; Porsche NA has Michelins).

Nonetheless, IMSA erred in calling the No. 22 for the penalty (which is non-appealable) and for not calling the No. 911 with one of its own. The No. 912 wound up winning the race in GTLM.

IMSA’s Scot Elkins said that since the incident occurred earlier in the race, nothing could be done in regards to assessing post-race time penalties to try and make up for the incorrect calls – a prospect he called “making another bad decision on top of an already bad decision.”

“I think everybody knows the way we view our analysis is via video,” Elkins said according to Sportscar365. “We had some very conclusive video … but we involved the wrong cars. It just so happened both of those cars were white Porsches. Both had in-car cameras.

“There’s nothing that we can do in terms of taking time away and doing anything to the results. We’re sorry, and we made a mistake. We have some things in place to fix it for the next time.”

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.

Results are below. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama rolls off at 3:00 p.m. ET.