For the second consecutive race to start the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda season, Forty7 Motorsports will start from the pole when the series takes the green flag Friday at Sebring International Raceway.
The driver this time, however, will be different.
In fact, TJ Fischer is new to the series and will be joining Daytona polesitter Austin McCusker in the No. 47 Norma M30 for his series debut. He nabbed the top spot from teammate Anthony Simone in the No. 74 Norma M30 with a lap of 1:57.958, just seconds before a red flag with six minutes remaining in the 15-minute session.
“I think it just worked out timing wise,” said Fischer. “Forty7 Motorsports and the No. 47 car is really hooked up. The team has done a great job with the prep work, they’ve doubled their workload this week with a second car, and they’ve been solid.”
Forty7 Motorsports is relatively new to the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series, running three races in 2017. The team opened the 2018 season with just the No. 47 entry at Daytona, but expanded to two cars for Sebring and plans to continue the multi-car effort moving forward.
Coming off its second consecutive pole, the next goal for Forty7 Motorsports is the top step of the podium. Speed certainly is not the issue, but as teams continue to adapt to the series’ new one hour, 45-minute endurance format, anything can happen.
“Qualifying is one thing, but we have an hour and 45 minutes of racing,” said Fischer. “The key is to try to build a gap and then get going from there.”
Regardless of his finishing position, however, Fischer has come away impressed with the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series and the LMP3 car.
“The series is really, really cool and the LMP3 is really cool,” he said. “It’s something I heard about when I was racing over in Europe and now that there is a format that really works for it, this series is just going to get bigger. With the names in the series and the format they’ve got going, I’m excited to see where it goes.”
Brownson In ‘Right Place At Right Time’ For MPC Pole
Jon Brownson used a little of his IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda veteran driver experience Thursday to score the MPC class pole at Sebring International Raceway.
Putting in a strong lap early in the session, Brownson found himself at the top of the charts when the red flag flew with six minutes remaining in the session for a car stopped on track. With the session unable to resume, his lap of 2:02.588 in the No. 34 Eurosport Racing Elan DP02 was good enough to earn the pole for Friday’s race.
“It was a good time to get a quick lap in, and I guess I got lucky,” said Brownson. “I thought it was going to be a banker just in case we didn’t get any good laps and I guess it was a pretty good bank. I put a good run and thought maybe I’d do better next time around, but that was not to be. We’re glad to be in the right place at the right time.”
That lap was more than two seconds quicker than Daytona winner Robert Masson in the No. 11 Performance Tech Motorsports entry. Four different teams made up the top four spots with the No. 28 Wolf Motorsports and No. 86 ONE Motorsports entries rounding out the first two rows.
Round 2 of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda season goes green Friday at 9:10 a.m. ET. The race can be streamed live on IMSA.com.