The JaguarRSR team signed off on a “successful” qualifying session at their 12 Hours of Sebring debut, despite only qualifying 11th fastest in class, a full four seconds off of the pace. Even then the team will be relegated to the tail end of the field, their three drivers having not completed the requisite number of laps at night.
However, speed was barely the aim for the Michigan based team, as team principal Paul Gentilozzi describes. We approached qualifying as a practice session,” he said. “We left all of our endurance equipment on, all of our endurance brakes, while many of the other teams went to sprint configurations aerodynamically and distance wise. We chose not to do that because we really need to learn more about the race. I am satisfied with the session, we ran nine laps with reasonable times and we will just get ready to race tomorrow.”
It was Belgian Marc Goossens who took the driving duties for the 25 minutes session, turning what turned out to be his fastest lap (2:04.804) on his fifth circuit of the 3.7 mile course.
“Qualifying wasn’t really a qualifying run for us,” he echoes Gentilozzi's words. “We used it more of a practice session and finding out what the tires would do on the longer stint, so I went out in the beginning of the session and stayed out until the end to really get a good run in.”
The team are due to start 31st in the 34 car field, with Gentilozzi taking the first stint in the race, which starts at 10:30am local time. He will then be followed into the car by Ryan Dalziel and Goossens.
“It has been a testing week for everybody on the team and the guys have worked a lot of late hours,” Dalziel says. “I am proud to be a part of a program that has so many dedicated people. We have made huge gains on the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT. It might not look that way to the outside, but within the JaguarRSR team we know we are moving forward in so many ways. We are happy with the progress we are making and we are looking for a safe, reliable race.”