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WHELEN ENGINEERING CADILLAC ON POLE AT SEBRING

Pipo Derani drove the Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R to pole position for tomorrow’s 69th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts to run at Sebring International Raceway.

In this afternoon’s 15-minute qualifying session, Derani, who together with teammates Felipe Nasr and Mike Conway led every practice session on the weekend, defended that speed in qualifying. He was able to post a lap time of 1:45.354 that will have him pace the 37 car field to the green at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow.

“The Whelen Cadillac has been fantastic all weekend,” Derani said. “We have been fastest in practice and to put it on pole backs up our pace. We knew the car would be tighter compared to the previous practices with the rain from last night and it was, but to put it on pole is a great effort from the entire team. Everyone on the Action Express team put in a lot of work on the car in the test and this weekend.”

Renger van der Zande had the wheel of the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R and drove it to a time of 1:45.849 good for a third place starting position. Together with teammates Kevin Magnussen and Scott Dixon the trio is looking for a strong run in only their second race with the Cadillac DPi-V.R.

“We ended up P3,” van der Zande said. “We were going for the pole position as there’s points involved. We need every point in this championship as it is very tight. On the other hand, it’s a long race, 12 hours, and our goal is to win the 12 hours of Sebring. It was a little unlucky with the traffic and the red flag at the end. I think we could have done a little better. Maybe even the pole. We are ready to go racing and we will try to win it!”

In the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R Loic Duval posted a lap of 1:46.549 good for fifth. He and Sebastien Bourdais and Tristan Vautier were trying different set-up combinations throughout the week.

“Qualifying was not so great,” Duval said. “Yesterday we tried a few different things in practice even though we don’t have too much time. In the morning we were looking ok for our first shot, though we did not test here like the other teams. In the afternoon we were closer in P2. In the night practice we were not too happy with the balance. We decided to do some changes for qualifying. There is some positives and some negatives. I was not able to put everything together for a really fast lap like the guys in front of us. We will try to combine the positives to have a good car tomorrow for the race.”

In the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R Jimmie Johnson had a crash in Turn 17 as he was trying for one last flying lap. With debris on his tires from a previous spin, he put the Cadillac into the wall in Turn 17 bringing the session to an end. The Action Express Racing team will have the Ally Cadillac ready for the green flag tomorrow morning.

“I’m certainly disappointed that I tore up the car for the team, putting them in a difficult position,” Johnson said. “They seem eager and ready for the challenge to get the Ally Cadillac back together for tomorrow. I spun in Turn 16. I was trying to get up and going to catch another flying lap before the session ended. Sadly, I had some debris on my tires as I entered 17 and tagged the outside wall. I learned a couple of lessons there, call them rookie lessons.”

Cadillac Racing Sebring starting positions

1.No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, Mike Conway; 1:45.354

3.No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, Kevin Magnussen, Renger Van Der Zande, Scott Dixon; 1:45.849

6.No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval, Sebastien Bourdais,

7.No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R, Jimmy Johnson, Simon Pagenaud, Kamui Kobayashi; 1:47.610

Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Cadillac/Richard Prince

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