Dempsey Del Piero Racing Captures Sebring GTC Pole in First Porsche Race
Porsche 911 racecars in two classes qualified successfully for Saturday’s 61st Edition of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which takes the green flag at 10:45 AM Eastern time live on Speed
In the GT Challenge class (GTC),that features matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, veteran Andy Lally (USA) outflanked the intense competition among the 11 entries to capture the pole with his #27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – the car he will share with owner/racer and well-known actor Patrick Dempsey and team manager Joe Foster. Lally zoomed ahead of Jeroen Bleekemole (NL) in the Alex Job Racing Porsche by three-tenths of a second, setting a new GTC lap record in the process. Bleekemolen will start the WeatherTech car for co-drivers Cooper MacNeil (USA) and Dion von Moltke (USA).
Dempsey was especially proud of his crew as they took delivery of the Porsche less than five weeks ago, and have thrashed non-stop to get it ready for this week’s event.
“Lally was seventh in class during the qualifying session when he came in and asked for a tire pressure adjustment, and then went out and blasted through the field for the pole. It’s a great reward for everyone who worked so hard to bring this together. Driving the Porsche is great, and getting the pole for Tully’s Coffee the first time out is a real bonus. For me, I’m still learning to drive the car, but Andrew Davis’ coaching has really helped me,” said Dempsey.
“We actually over-compensated with our set-up anticipating the warmer track temperatures this afternoon after this morning’s cold start, and the car had a lot of understeer, so we made the adjustments. The car has been fast all week, and we delivered on that potential,” said Lally.
In the GT class, Porsche factory driver Marco Holzer (Germany), new co-driver in the Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Bryce Miller (USA) and fellow works driver Richard Lietz (Austria), put the Chopard car in seventh position, while Wolf Henzler (Germany), a Porsche factory driver, back for a third season with Team Falken Tire, put the #17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in 12th position. Henzler will share his cockpit with Bryan Sellers (USA) and Porsche’s newest factory driver Nick Tandy (England).
Qualifying Results – GT class
1. Bruni (ITL), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:58.815
2. Gavin (GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 1:58.934
3. Mucke (DEN), Aston Martin Vantage V8, 1:58.990
4. Lamy (POR), Aston Martin Vantage V8, 1:59.208
5. Garcia (SP), Chevrolet Corvette, 1:59.348
6. Bomarino (USA), SRT Viper – GTS-R, 1:59.340
7. Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:59.543
8. Martin (BEL), BMW Z4 GTE, 1:59.736
12. Henzler (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:00.365
1. Lally (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:05.446
2. Bleekemolen (NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:05.747 (on lap #6)
3. Sean Edwards (GB), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:05.747 (on lap #8)
[Pic credit: Porsche North America]