12H Sebring FP3: Action Express leads again as MSR crashes


Action Express couldn't be derailed in FP3 (Photo courtesy of IMSA)

The penultimate free practice session of the 2016 12 Hours of Sebring was once again topped by an Action Express Racing DP, as Michael Shank Racing hit problems following a heavy crash.

Felipe Albuquerque set the fastest lap of the night, guiding the #5 Corvette DP to a 1:52.832 marker.

The Action Express man was just over a second quicker than the fastest placed LMP2 of Mazda Motorsports, driven by Jonathan Bomarito.

Thursday night’s 90 minute session was halted after John Pew collided with the tyre barriers in the Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2-HPD. Pew was taken to the infield medical centre for assessment and released shortly afterwards, but the Ligier had sustained considerable damage ahead of Friday qualifying.

Third was the Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP, which in the hands of Jordan Taylor finished the day on 1:54.088.

The Visit Florida Racing Corvette DP ended the evening fourth, with the DragonSpeed Oreca-05 slotting into a top five spot.

Prototype Challenge was again controlled by the #54 Oreca FLM09-Chevrolet of CORE Autosport. Colin Braun’s time of 1:55.077 put the white and orange car over a second clear of the PR1/Mathiasen entry.

In GTLM, BMW Team RLL called the shots with both M6s eclipsing the rest of the class field. Lucas Luhr, driving the #100 car, ended the session on top with a 1:59.270 to give a third different entry its time at the head of the timesheets. Luhr finished 0.6s clear of the sister #25 car, with the #67 Ford GT finishing third fastest.

The closely bunched GTD field featured four different manufacturers in the top four positions; this time it was Dodge Viper that led the way with Jeroen Bleekemolen pedalling the Riley Motorsports machine to a 2:03.417. Second was the #16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, while the Flying Lizard/Krohn Racing Audi R8 LMS and the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 finished third and fourth.

The 12 Hours of Sebring – round two of the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship – gets underway on Saturday, March 19 at 14:40 EST.