Sebring, Fla. (17 March 2023) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) will start fifth for Saturday’s 71st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, with a late red flag preventing MSR driver Tom Blomqvist from an attempt at a second-consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole position.
MSR experienced an up and down first day of practice on Thursday with the team working to find solutions for some electrical gremlins during Practice 1 with the No. 60 MSR Acura LMDh only clocking in seven laps. After working through the lunch hours, MSR diagnosed the issue and closed out Practice 2 at the top of the time sheets – a breath of fresh air before heading into night practice.
MSR was hoping to continue its pace into qualifying on Saturday. Taking the wheel for the 20-minute qualifying session Blomqvist was running second with an early lap of 1:46.603-seconds in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Acura ARX-06. The team called Blomqvist into pit lane midway through the 20-minute session for a tire change – a new feature for the 2023 season which allows GTP cars to utilize one of its 11 sets of qualifying and race Michelin tires.
Falling to fifth during his stop, Blomqvist returned for a late run with under 10-minutes on the clock. However, a competitor slammed a barrier with four-minutes, 30-seconds remaining, effectively ending the session before the MSR Acura could score another quick lap.
Blomqvist will join Colin Braun and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves for 12 grueling hours on the bumpy circuit carved from a former World War II airport training base on Saturday.
While Blomqvist is making his third start at Sebring – he placed fifth last season with MSR in DPi and seventh in GTLM in 2019 – his co-drivers are both experienced at Sebring. Braun is a three-time winner in 12 races, scoring in PC in 2014 and 2016 in addition to an LMP3 triumph in 2021. Castroneves is a four-time competitor in the lead class, with his best finish fourth in 2019 in an Acura DPi.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will go green on Saturday at 10:10am ET with flag-to-flag coverage on Peacock starting at 10:05am ET. USA Network will pick up coverage starting at 4:30pm ET. SiriusXM will also host live IMSA Radio coverage on XM Ch. 392.
Meyer Shank Racing Sebring 12 Hour Qualifying Driver Quote:
“We definitely didn’t get the most out of that session, especially with the untimely red flag. I don’t think we had the pace for pole, but we were definitely getting close to it. It’s not super important really where you start for a 12 hour race. We just need to keep chipping away and finding more ways to improve, but I’m confident we can get to a place where we have a solid race car for tomorrow.”