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.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.