SEBRING, Fla. (March 15, 2019) – In the Friday morning qualifying session for the 12 Hours of Sebring, Tristan Nunez drove the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P to a front row starting position for the endurance racing classic.
Recording a time of 1:46.011 around the 3.7-mile circuit made up of the runways of the former Hendricks Army Airfield, Nunez’s time put the Mazda RT24-P that he will share with Timo Bernhard and Oliver Jarvis second on the grid. Jonathan Bomarito, who shares the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P with Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell, qualified in seventh position.
The No. 55 Mazda RT24-P topped the second and third practice sessions of the weekend, with Pla setting the fastest lap in practice two and Tincknell setting the fastest lap of night practice.
The 12 Hours of Sebring will be broadcast live on Saturday, March 16 starting at 10:30 AM ET on CNBC before continuing on NBC Sports at 3:00 PM ET with coverage concluding at 11:00 PM ET.
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports
The 12 Hours of Sebring is a very long, very challenging race, and will require us to have a car that is going to be fast through the day but also have something in reserve for the cool evening conditions. The Mazda RT24-Ps have been near the front in each session, but they’ve also been consistent, and have been good in all conditions here. Tristan showed the speed that we all know he has, and he and the crew of the 77 put it all together in that qualifying session. You can never be too sure of yourself in a race like this, and by the looks of things the weather will play a role in the race, but the weekend has been going well so far.”
NO. 55 MAZDA RT24-P
“I’m definitely encouraged by the pace we have in our Mazda RT24-P. We just missed it a little bit in qualifying, but our race pace that we had in practice yesterday was really good, so we know that we have a good race car. We know that this is a very challenging, very punishing race and we know we have the car, the team, and the preparation we need to be successful.”
NO. 77 MAZDA RT24-P
“It’s amazing to be on the front row for the 12 Hours of Sebring – my home race and my favorite race of the year. We have a good record this year as far as qualifying goes, between Daytona and Sebring, and qualifying second is an awesome way to start the race weekend. We have a really good car, which I’ve been saying since the start of the weekend – it just feels comfortable. I’m excited to get the race started tomorrow, and I think there’s going to be some race, and that should spice things up a bit. It should be a mega race.”
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24) program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with Mazda Team Joest. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and Mazda Motorsports on Instagram and Facebook.
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Tim Olson, Mazda North American Operations, 949-727-6551
Efrain Olivares, Mazda Motorsports, 818-254-7196