Corvette C7R Teams Qualify 4th and 5th at Sebring, Vipers Start 8th and 10th
The Chevrolet Corvette C7R teams were towards the top of the standings all day during the four practice sessions so they were among the favorites to turn in top qualifying times in the GTLM class. Things didn’t go quite as well as the Corvette Racing contingent had hoped, with a Porsche and the two BMW team cars turning in quicker qualifying times than both Corvettes. Fortunately, both Corvettes were fairly quick and incredibly consistent, qualifying within 2 thousandths of a second of each other in the 4th and 5th spots with times of 1:59.222 and 1:59.224 respectively. The quicker of the 2 Corvette C7R teams was just 289 thousandths slower than the Porsche 911 RSR that grabbed the top spot in GTLM. The Corvette teams starting positions of 4th and 5th in the class have them starting 29th and 30th in the 64 car field.
The two SRT Viper GTS-R teams didn’t get off to a great start in practice and the troubles continued into qualifying. The #93 Viper was the quicker of the two SRT team cars but a best time of 2:00.111 has the yellow and silver Mopar supercar starting in the 8th position in the GTLM class and the 33rd position overall; 1.178 seconds back from the class leader. The #91 Viper GTS-R had an even rougher qualifying run, mustering a best time of just 2:00.509 which stuck this Viper soundly in the 10th spot in the 11 car GTLM class, 35th overall. It should be noted that the Vipers were among the fastest cars in the GTLM field at the Rolex 24, but the two SRT team cars were forced to add weight and cut power as part of IMSA’s “balance of performance adjustment” program. In other words, the Vipers were so fast at Daytona that IMSA had to essentially punish them and slow them down. It seems that the new restrictions had the desired effect as they are clearly not as dominant as they were at Daytona.
Not surprisingly, the fastest car in the entire 64 car field for the 12 Hours of Sebring was the same Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype that won the Rolex 24 at Daytona along with being the quickest car in the field at the Sebring Winter Testing last month. The Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP was third fastest with one of the Nissan powered Morgan race cars sitting in the second spot. The Honda HPD ARX-03b will start 4th and a Nissan powered Oreca race car rounds out the top 5. The best qualifying Ford EcoBoost powered Riley race car will start in the 6th position.
The 2014 12 Hours of Sebring race is set to begin tomorrow at 10:15am and end at 10:15pm. You can catch the first 3 hours of the race on Fox Sports 1 and the rest can be watched on the IMSA.com website.