BMW wins 12 Hours of Sebring pole
After struggling at Daytona, BMW Team RLL will start the Sebring race from the pole with one of its new BMW M8 GTE cars. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

The BMW Team RLL cars crept up the GT Le Mans running order over the four practice sessions at Sebring International Raceway and had enough speed in Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring qualifying to earn pole.

The No. 25 BMW M8 GTE driven by Connor De Phillippi, Alexander Sims and Bill Auberlen began Thursday’s running near the bottom of the class with the seventh-fastest lap. By Friday morning’s Practice 4, the car had risen to the top of the leaderboard.

In the 15-minute qualifying session, De Phillippi pushed the new-for-2018 car to a 1:55.839 around the 3.74-mile circuit, besting James Calado and the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE by 0.058 seconds.

The sister No. 24 BMW took third with a 1:44.985 while the twin Ford GTs of Chip Ganassi Racing completed the top five at the hands of Richard Westbrook and Joey Hand, respectively.

Corvette and Porsche split the final four positions with Laurens Vanthoor, Antonio Garcia, Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner qualifying in positions six through nine.

Serra Earns Second GTD Pole of 2018

Finishing with the second-fastest lap in three of the four practices leading up to GT Daytona qualifying at Sebring demonstrated the competitiveness of the No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3.

Spirit of Race Ferrari in 12 Hours of Sebring qualifying
Daniel Serra and Spirit of Race are undefeated in GTD qualifying through two races in 2018. | Photo: Michael L. Levitt / IMSA

Daniel Serra proved the car’s capability with a record-setting lap at Sebring to secure his second consecutive pole after accomplishing the same feat at Daytona in January.

The 1:58.710 turned by Serra was 0.519 seconds quicker than the best time Christopher Mies could wrangle out of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport’s No. 29 Audi R8 LMS GT3.

The two Lexus RC F GT3s of 3GT Racing locked out the next two positions in qualifying with Jack Hawksworth and Dominik Baumann driving, respectively.

Madison Snow completed the top five behind the wheel of the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Paul Miller Racing.

The 17-car class was separated by 5.940 seconds with Timothy Pappas bringing up the rear in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Next up for the two GT classes is the 12-hour race itself, set to go green at 10:40 a.m. EDT on Saturday, March 17.

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