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Mar 15, 2014 - 06:37 AM
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2014 USCR (Sebring 12): Christensen Puts Porsche 911 RSR on GTLM Pole for Saturday's 12 Hours of Sebring
Posted by: newsla on Mar 15, 2014 - 06:35 AM
USCR News
2014 USCR (Sebring 12): Christensen Puts Porsche 911 RSR on GTLM Pole for Saturday's 12 Hours of Sebring


Driving the No. 912 Porsche North America 911 RSR, Michael Christensen (Denmark), in the car he will share with Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), earned the pole position in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class for tomorrow’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

 

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The factory BMWs were second and third, with the factory Corvettes fourth and fifth. The other Porsche North America works entry, the No. 911 qualified by Richard Lietz (Austria), was sixth, in the car he co-drives with Nick Tandy (UK) and Patrick Pilet (France).

For Christensen, who took the pole on his first qualifying attempt as a Porsche factory driver, said that the multiple test sessions the team had at Sebring over the winter helped them with the setup, making the car very competitive. And winning the top spot really meant something.

“It’s amazing. It’s a really good feeling. This is my first time in the Porsche 911 RSR for qualifying for the team. It’s great to be in front and show that we’re able to fight for front rows positions and for the top of the class. While Sebring might be bumpy and challenging, I like a track that is challenging – where the driver makes a real difference,” said Christensen.

Lietz’ qualifying effort was also notable, and only three-tenths of a second off the pole position. He ended up sixth in the very competitive GTLM class.

“In qualifying, normally I try to do one quick lap and our car did not have this peak for one lap. It was a very consistent car which makes me confident for the race but unfortunately I could not make the qualifying lap that I wanted to do. But it was consistent and I am looking forward to the race tomorrow,” said Lietz. The No. 911 won the GTLM class of Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening round of the TUDOR United SportsCar, in January.

In the GT Daytona class, Leh Keen (Atlanta) put the No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America on the front row in class, missing out on the pole by one-hundredth of a second in the car he races with Philipp Frommenwiler (Switzerland) and Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.). Other Porsche 911 GT America qualifiers were sixth, seventh, ninth - 13th, 15th, 17th and 19th in class.

“The car gets better and better every session,” Keen said. “That is what Alex Job and Greg (Fordahl, team engineer) do, just keep improving. We started off a little slow. I have a lot of confidence in this team and we made the changes to get fast. Qualifying was really close and I was really close for the pole. I had some close lap times, I was off pole by a hundredth of a second, I probably had a hundredth out there somewhere,” said Keen.

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring starts at 10:00 am live on Fox Sports 1, Saturday, March 15, and moves to live streaming coverage on www.imsa.com for the rest of the event.

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