Neel Jani admitted it was a surprise to see Rebellion Racing take pole position for the Sebring 12 Hours, although the Swiss driver knows race day on Saturday is a totally different proposition.
Jani, on loan at Rebellion from the Porsche FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 squad where he is defending champion, took his Oreca 07 LMP2 car to the top of the time sheets with a lap of 1:48.178, shattering the lap record in the process.
It was also the first pole position in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the Oreca 07 LMP2 chassis, and beat the pre-qualifying favourites Cadillac.
Saturdays race around the Sebring International Raceway promises to be another exciting one following on from the drama at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and Jani hopes that he, along with team-mates Nick Heidfeld and Sebastien Buemi, can remain in contention at the front of the field.
“It was a good Qualifying session, we didn’t expected to be P1,” said Jani. “We had a few issues in free practice and we had to play a lot of catch up.
“There is no ideal lap here at Sebring, you have to improvise as it’s so bumpy, it’s always a nice and challenging track. We saw in Daytona that we were close in qualifying, but in the race the Cadillacs were really fast.
“I think that tomorrow it will be an other game to translate this Pole into a win. For sure we will try to stay at the front as long as possible!”