Cooper MacNeil, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Dion von Moltke will start the 61st running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from the front row in GTC for tomorrow’s race.
The three drivers were able to keep the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing GTC Porsche at the top of the time charts all week. Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) had the controls for qualifying and was able to post a time of 2:05.747. In the morning, in what were ideal conditions, the Dutchman put in a lap time of 2:04.7. As the day went on the track heated up and lost grip.
“There was more dust and the higher car and track temperatures affected the speed this afternoon,” Bleekemolen said. “This morning, I think, it was the fastest track that I have ever run here. This afternoon it dropped off quite a bit. Second is not a bad position. We have been fastest in pretty much all of the sessions, so I am disappointed not to take the pole position. When you are not on pole you say it doesn’t matter where you start for a 12-hour race, but naturally we wanted the pole. The car and the tires have been really consistent. I think we have a very good car for the race. For the race we need to save the car and save the brakes so we have the best car at the end.”
MacNeil (Hindsdale, Ill) is looking forward to a very competitive race.
“This morning I went the fastest that I have ever gone here in this car, and that was a traffic lap,” MacNeil said. “The car couldn’t be better. The team is all working well together and we are looking forward to a good race. It is a 12-hour race, but with the great competition in the GTC class this year tomorrow is going to be a sprint race. We will need to be consistent, stay out of trouble and be in a good position at the end to go for the win.”
Von Moltke (South Africa) likes the way the WeatherTech Porsche handles.
“It has been excellent week,” von Moltke said. “The WeatherTech AJR Porsche is one of the best cars that I have had here at Sebring. Greg Fordahl and Greg Jones, our new addition to the team, have done an excellent job engineering the car. The car is really good. We have been first or second on the time sheet all week. We have a great team and a great crew. It is a strong field this year in GTC. I have a lot of faith in the team around us.”
Alex Job is happy with the progress of the team this week.
“Jeroen, Cooper and Dion have been fast all week,” Job said. “We had a good week of testing and the guys have settled on a car set up that works for all three of them. They have all done their fastest laps ever this week, so we have made progress since last year. The competition in the GTC class is at an all-time high. The top six cars are within a half second of each other. We will make final adjustments for the race and be ready to go tomorrow.”
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring can be viewed on Fox Sports Media television, Mar.16 at 10:30 a.m. EDT, live streaming is also available. Live streaming of qualifying can be viewed Mar.15 starting at 1:05 p.m. EDT at ALMS.com.