Jani, Rebellion secure the pole for 12 Hours of Sebring

Photo courtesy of IMSA

SEBRING, Fla. – A Rebellion defeated the Galactic Empire (the trio of Cadillac DPi-V.Rs) in the first battle to win the war that is Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, with Neel Jani’s LMP2-spec Oreca 07 Gibson emerging ahead of Christian Fittipaldi’s Daytona Prototype international (DPi)-spec Cadillac for pole.

Full qualifying reports are below:


Jani has delivered Rebellion Racing the overall pole for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with a record (since IMSA merger of 2014) lap time at the 17-turn, 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway circuit.

Jani uncorked a flier of 1:48.178, which smashed the previous mark of 1:51.152 set in 2015 by Olivier Pla, in a previous generation LMP2-spec car, the Ligier JS P2 Judd for Krohn Racing.

Jani shares Rebellion’s No. 13 Oreca 07 Gibson with Nick Heidfeld and Sebastien Buemi.

It was less than a tenth ahead of the top of the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car, Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R at 1:48.273.

Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa, who won overall at Sebring with Sebastien Bourdais for the Action Express team in 2015, roll off second with third driver Filipe Albuquerque; the trio finished second at Daytona.

The second Action Express car, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac qualified by Dane Cameron, starts third.

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac, which won the Rolex 24, starts sixth with the car shared by Ricky and Jordan Taylor and U.S. debutante Alex Lynn.


Two of the three Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs completed a front row lockout in the GT Le Mans class.

The two U.S.-based, Indianapolis-housed entries were 1-2 with Ryan Briscoe edging Dirk Mueller for the pole position. Briscoe’s time in the No. 67 Ford he shares with Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon was 1:55.931, which was nearly a full 2.5 seconds faster than last year’s pole, Bill Auberlen at 1:58.402 in a BMW M6 GTLM.

Mueller laid down a 1:56.175 in the No. 66 Ford, which looked good before Briscoe’s lap. Mueller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais are going for both their own and Ford’s triple endurance race sweep at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring and will start their quest from second.

The pair of Corvette C7.Rs, which themselves have split the last two Sebring races between them, start third and fifth with the No. 4 car qualified by Tommy Milner ahead of the No. 3 car qualified by Antonio Garcia. Kevin Estre split the pair of yellow Corvettes in his No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR. Top BMW was Nicky Catsburg in eighth, at 0.678 off the pole.

Nine of the top 10 cars in class were separated by 0.721 of a second, with the only exception the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella more than 1.5 seconds off the pace.


Past Pro Mazda combatants Tristan Vautier and Connor De Phillippi relived their open-wheel battle for supremacy now in sports cars, both having found homes in their new teams, in the quest for GT Daytona class pole at Sebring.

Vautier took the top spot in the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to deliver the car its first IMSA pole, having obliterated last year’s track record. Vautier’s pole lap was 1:59.738, more than 2.5 seconds quicker than Jeff Segal’s last year in the debuting No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 at 2:02.350.

The French driver now lives in North Carolina near the team’s headquarters, and shares the car with Kenny Habul and Boris Said.

De Phillippi, meanwhile will start the No. 29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS from the same position the car finished at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, second. His best lap of 2:00.490 was over seven tenths of a second in arrears. He shares the car with Christopher Mies and Jules Gounon.

Posting an impressive run to third was Corey Lewis in the No. 16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, which is a built up new chassis after an accident at Daytona. Lewis, who was in potential win position at Sebring last year for Robby Benton’s team before passing the pace car to trigger an improper wave around, shares the car with fellow youngsters Jeroen Mul and Brett Sandberg; Mul is new to Sebring.

The pair of 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 entries clocked in fourth and fifth for their second race, the No. 15 car qualified by Robert Alon ahead of the No. 14 car qualified by Scott Pruett.

Christina Nielsen qualified the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 10th as the team looks for a rebound after an engine issue halted their Daytona hopes and after she, Alessandro Balzan and Segal won here last year. This year’s Daytona winners Alegra Motorsports start 12th, with Daniel Morad qualifying the team’s No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R. NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell is 15th on the grid in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Audi R8 LMS.


Gustavo Yacaman took the PC class pole in the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09, his first WeatherTech Championship pole since 2014 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park before he won the race overall in an OAK Racing Morgan Nissan. Yacaman shares the car with Colin Thompson, Marc Drumwright and Chapman Ducote. Yacaman’s pole time of 1:53.506 beat last year’s pole time by more than 2.3 seconds set by Tom Kimber-Smith, which was a 1:55.843.

Rolex 24 winners Performance Tech Motorsports start second after James French qualified its No. 38 car; he shares that car with Pato O’Ward and Kyle Masson. French only just missed the pole at a lap of 1:53.575.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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