The Heart of Racing Porsche drivers Mario Farnbacher (Germany), Ian James (Phoenix) and Alex Riberas (Spain) will start fourth on the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Championship GTD class grid in Saturday’s 64th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
Driving the No. 23 The Heart of Racing Porsche, Farnbacher turned the fastest time early in 15-minute qualifying session and looked poised to earn a pole position. But, the other ultra-competitive GTD class drivers had something to say about it before qualifying was over. In fact, Farnbacher had to push the Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche to its limit and finally turned the fourth fastest lap of the session with a 2:03.037. He did it during his fourth trip around the 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit.
“The track was really greasy out there compared to the practice session earlier in the day,” Farnbacher said after qualifying. “The car changed again. I think we took some small steps in the wrong direction with the car set-up. But, we are the fastest Porsche. I think there’s a little bit more potential in the car.”
Farnbacher, James and Riberas are the defending GTD class race winners from a year ago at Sebring. Last year’s win gave Alex Job Racing its 10th career Sebring win.
“Tomorrow, our main goal is to stay out of trouble, fight hard over the final two hours with a good car and go for the win,” Farnbacher said.
“Mario did a good job qualifying,” team owner Alex Job said. “He was the top Porsche with P4 and had a very respectable time given the conditions at Sebring this afternoon. They [the conditions] were definitely different than the winter test. We’re not surprised that the Ferrari and the Viper are in the 2:02’s. We fully expected it. We would have like to have been in the high 2:02’s, but that still wouldn’t have gotten us the pole.
“You know, it’s a 12 hour race. And, quite frankly, it really doesn’t matter where you qualify. But, the fact that we were able to run those times, it is very encouraging. What we work on is being able run fast times consistently throughout the whole race – not just qualifying. So, the race is much more important to us.”
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Source. Kyle Chura/Alex Job Racing