Rene Rast Leads Mazda 1-2 in Night Practice for Twelve Hours of Sebring

by Paul Hensby
Rene Rast was quickest in night practice at Sebring

Rene Rast ensured Mazda Team Joest ended night practice for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on top, with team-mate Harry Tincknell making it a one-two for the RT24-P.

Rast set the best time of the session, with his 1:48.233s in the #77 Mazda 0.457 seconds faster than Tincknell in the #55, while Felipe Nasr was the leading Cadillac runner in third, the Brazilian setting a best time of 1:48.799s in the #31 Action Express Racing machine.

Olivier Pla put the #2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan into fourth ahead of the leading Oreca from CORE Autosport, with Romain Dumas behind the wheel, while the Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac of Felipe Albuquerque was sixth fastest.

The #6 Acura Team Penske machine of Dane Cameron ended seventh, just over a second down on the pace of the leading Mazda, while the #22 ESN Nissan, #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac and the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac completed the top ten.

The #7 Acura Team Penske machine of Helio Castroneves, Graham Rahal and Ricky Taylor, fastest in the opening two sessions, could only finish the session twelfth behind the #52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier.

For the third consecutive session, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing led the way in the GT Le Mans class, with the #66 of Dirk Muller on top with a best lap of 1:57.371s, which was just under three-tenths of a second faster than the BMW Team RLL M8 GTLM of Alexander Sims, while Laurens Vanthoor made it three different manufacturers inside the top three, with the #912 Porsche 911 RSR just under two-tenths of a second behind Sims.

Markus Palttala put the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 on top of the GT Daytona class, with his best time of 2:00.970s just under a tenth of a second ahead of the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 of Daniel Serra, while the #29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 ended third.

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