SEBRING, FL (19 March 2022) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) ran in striking distance of the lead halfway through Saturday’s running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Stoffel Vandoorne kept the No. 60 MSR AutoNation / SiriusXM Acura ARX-05 DPi on the lead lap throughout the opening six hours of Round 2 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Blomqvist started sixth and took an aggressive charge at the start, moving up three position on the first lap to race in third. Managing the Acura’s balance through the intense heat, Blomqvist made a clean hand off to Jarvis – winner of Friday’s World Endurance Championship race. The third driver change put Vandoorne in the car who, ran as high as second during his opening turns at the wheel. Vandoorne got his first taste of IMSA competition, running through several restarts, sectors of traffic and high intensity racing.
Getting better fuel mileage than the other contenders, once back in the car Blomqvist took the lead in lap 154, 5:18 into the event and he led two laps before his pit stop. Blomqvist was still driving at the six-hour mark, running sixth.
After two-hours, 42-minutes of continuous green-flag racing, cautions came out four times for a total of one-hour, 21-minutes during the opening half of the race.
The checkered flag is set to wave at 10:10 p.m. ET.
“I had a good start, made a few moves after the green flag which was fun. I did two stints to open the race and turned the Acura over to Olly . It’s hot out there! It’s not easy. I think everyone’s fighting out there, because it’s quite difficult in these conditions right now with the heat and the humidity. You know, we didn’t have such a straightforward build up to this race. But, we’re there in the mix. So we just need to keep out of trouble, keep what we were doing and then see if the race comes to us.”
“It was obviously a little bit different conditions than practice. It’s good to get in the car and get some laps. It was definitely a different feeling from yesterday, so I’m glad to get the first couple of stints out the way. The car’s quite difficult at the moment. Hopefully the race will come to us later on, but at the moment where we’re struggling a little bit with the balance. I’m hopeful that it will work out alright in the end, but we’re just gonna hang on in there for now.”
“Obviously, it was a good first experience. We really went through everything. As soon as I jumped in, there was a yellow and I had to push at the pit exit on the cold tires. Then we had the restart and all the procedures. Everything was different, but we didn’t make any mistakes, and that’s what matters. We are lacking a bit of pace to the Cadillacs right now, but we were able to keep up with the 10 car. It was great with all the cars, and there are a lot of things to deal with including some of the Am drivers who aren’t sure where to put the car. It was good to experience it and I’m looking forward to getting back out there. Still, a long way to go.”