Sebring Notebook: IMSA Prototype Challenge
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Live updates from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts weekend...

Pflucker Scores Pole For Today's Race, Watch Live on IMSA.tv

March 14, 9 a.m.

Rodrigo Pflucker will start from the pole for today’s one-hour, 45 minute IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Sebring International Raceway following a shortened qualifying session Thursday morning. Pflucker drove the No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Norma M30 to the fastest lap of two minutes, 2.049 seconds (109.150 mph) just before the red flag was brought out for the No. 25 Ligier JS P3 of Ross Chouest.

“That was maybe my slowest lap ever making pole,” said Pflucker. “At the beginning we decided to go in the front with cold tires. I overtook some cars. I think that that was crucial at the end of the results.  vertaking his hard when the track is cold. This is not going to make me as a driver happy, but we are in front and we need to take care of this lap.”

The No. 4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3 of Leo Lamelas will start on the outside of the front row, followed by the No. 40 Polestar Motor Racing Ligier JS P3 of David Grant, the No. 26 K2R Motorsports Ligier JS P3 of James McGuire and the No. 43 Robillard Racing Norma M30 of Stevan McAleer.

The one hour, 45-minute IMSA Prototype Challenge race will go green today at 12:35 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv. All IMSA Prototype Challenge races will be shown on NBCSN throughout the season with the Sebring broadcast on Thursday, March 28 at 2 p.m. ET.

You can follow along with the conversation throughout this race weekend by using #IMSAPC.

Stars Aligned For Lamelas, ANSA Motorsports At Sebring

March 13, 5 p.m. ET

There may not be a team and driver with more momentum going into this weekend’s IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Sebring International Raceway than Leo Lamelas and ANSA Motorsports.

Defending Sebring winner? Check.

Daytona race-winning driver? Check.

Daytona race-winning team? Check.

Most recently Lamelas and Neil Alberico co-drove to the victory in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in the No. 4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3 as the duo raced its way from the back of the field after missing qualifying due to an engine change.

That followed ANSA Motorsports’ win in the inaugural Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring in November in the No. 13 Ligier JS P3 with Roman DeAngelis and Kyle Kirkwood.

And if the back-to-back race wins weren’t enough momentum heading into this weekend, Lamelas also won at Sebring last March driving for Charles Wicht Racing alongside co-driver Pato O’Ward.

“We are in a good position for the weekend,” said Lamelas. “The car is showing good work during practice and we won at Daytona, so the pace is there. I think we're going to have a good place tomorrow.”

One Year After Making History, House Looking To Return To Sebring Victory Lane at Age 76  

March 13, 2 p.m. ET

IMSA history was made one year ago this weekend at Sebring International Raceway when Dave House wheeled his No. 86 Elan DP02 to the IMSA Prototype Challenge MPC class victory at the age of 75 years young to become what is believed to be IMSA’s oldest race winner. It was his first career win and came at one of North America’s most prestigious – and physically demanding – road courses.

So what is House looking to do for an encore? Win at the age of 76, of course.

“I'm really looking forward to it,” House said of returning to Sebring. “I was 75 last year when I won. This year I'll be 76 when I win, assuming I can win of course. But there's a whole new field, a whole new car, a much heavier car, a lot more horsepower, power steering, so it's not as hard to drive.”

As the IMSA Prototype Challenge shifts to a single-class LMP3 platform for 2019, House is one of many drivers moving up from the MPC class. Ironically, the driver he beat for the win one year ago, Paul LaHaye, will be his co-driver this year in the No. 86 ONE Motorsports Ligier JS P3.

“The MPC car is much lighter, it has less horsepower,” he added. “This has a lot more torque and weighs a lot more. This has got power steering as opposed to very stiff, manual steering on the other car. So, this is less work. Maybe a year older this will be an easier car to drive and it'll help me. This is my first time driving in a closed car, racing in a closed car, first time racing a V8, so it's a really big change for me. It's taking a little bit of time to get used to, but I'm really looking forward to it.”

In the season opener at Daytona in January, House finished 16th. He noted that while more seat time is certainly a help, the differences between the high banks of Daytona and the notorious bumps of Sebring will be a challenge.

“(Daytona) is much simpler,” he said. “A big banking, straightaways. Sebring has got all kinds of turns and of course, those awful bumps that beat the daylights out of you. Hopefully with this heavier car, it'll be a little more comfortable going over those bumps at Sebring.”

Where It All Started: IMSA Prototype Challenge Heads To Sebring With Spotlight Now On LMP3 Cars

March 13, 11 a.m. ET

Sebring International Raceway is a significant venue in the modern history of the IMSA Prototype Challenge as the track that hosted the first race in series history with LMP3 cars in March, 2017.

In the years since its debut, LMP3 has seen a surge in popularity and with it the IMSA Prototype Challenge has grown to become a popular destination for young, aspiring prototype drivers and Pro-Am drivers alike. Case in point, a record (at the time) 18 LMP3 cars were on the grid at Sebring one year ago. When the series makes its return to Sebring this weekend, it’ll do so as with 25 expected entries.

The 25 entries is also up from 19 at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 5. Leo Lamelas and Neil Alberico co-drove to the victory in that event in the No. 4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3 as the duo raced its way from the back of the field after missing qualifying due to an engine change.

It’s been an impressive season so far for the ANSA Motorsports program as the team’s No. 13 Ligier JS P3 also won the inaugural Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring in November with Roman DeAngelis and Kyle Kirkwood.

The one hour, 45-minute IMSA Prototype Challenge race will go green at 12:35 p.m. ET on Thursday and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv. All IMSA Prototype Challenge races will be shown on NBCSN throughout the season with the Sebring broadcast on Thursday, March 28 at 2 p.m. ET.

You can follow along with the conversation throughout this race weekend by using #IMSAPC.

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