Stunning Vautier secures first IMSA pole for Mercedes at Sebring

Tristan Vautier was unbeatable in GT Daytona during qualifying at Sebring - Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Images, courtesy of IMSA

Tristan Vautier secured a dominant GT Daytona pole position for the Sebring 12 Hours on Friday in just the second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event for the Mercedes AMG GT3 chassis.

The Frenchman took his #75 SunEnergy1 Racing machine to the front of the field with a lap of 1:59.738, which shattered the class lap record in the process, with his lap three-quarters of a second clear of the rest of the class.

Vautier was ecstatic with the way the car performed during the qualifying session, and he expects the car he is sharing with Boris Said and Kenny Habul to be quick in race conditions on Saturday at the Sebring International Raceway.

“The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is very good here,” said Vautier. “The track has a lot of mid-speed corners, which are really the corners where the car performs at its best.

“The set-up was good, we chased some issues yesterday, but after the night practice we knew we had the car where we needed to be to battle for the pole position. It was a very good session overall. It’s cool, we are a brand-new team, only in our second race and we are on the pole position.

“Tomorrow we have 12 hours of racing, the pace should be there and it is just going to be about execution, not making any mistakes, and being there for the last two hours to set us up to race to the end.”