Regulator Racing and ST Racing Clinch Overall Pole Positions in Sebring Qualifying

Regulator Racing and ST Racing Clinch Overall Pole Positions in Sebring Qualifying

The Fanatec GT World Challenge America field took Sebring International Raceway by storm for two back-to-back Qualifying sessions to set the grid for both Race 1 and Race 2 to come. The drivers put their skills on full display, running incredibly quick laps, with one standing out above the rest to set a new track record in the process. 

Philip Ellis and Regulator Racing clinched the overall ROWE Pole Position for Race 1 on Saturday afternoon, with Neil Verhagen and ST Racing set to take the green flag from the front row on Sunday. 

Pro Class

The margins in the Pro Class in Qualifying 1 were slim, but it was Spencer Pumpelly leading the charge in the No. 85  RS1 Porsche 992 GT3 R, securing pole position for Race 1 with a time of 2:00.017. He earned the fastest time in class and second-quickest time overall in the opening session. Luca Mars qualified second in class and third overall in the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 EVO22, followed by Varun Choksey in third position in the No. 28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3. 

Qualifying 2 saw Elliott Skeer storm to the top of the charts in Pro Class on board the No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 992 GT3 R, with a lap time of 1:59.418 putting him comfortably in the lead to clinch pole position ahead of Race 2 on Sunday. Bill Auberlen went on to secure the second-fastest time in class for ST Racing, with RS1’s Trent Hindman following closely behind in third. 

Pro-Am Class

Philip Ellis set a blisteringly quick lap in Qualifying 1 behind the wheel of the No. 91 Regulator Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, flying through Sebring’s turns to set the fastest overall time of the session with a lap time of 1:59.217. Samantha Tan in the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 and George Kurtz in the No. 04 Crowdstrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 completed the Top 3 in the opening qualifying session. 

While setting the fastest lap, Ellis also set a new track record, going on to say; “I just have a great team behind me, they gave me a good car so they made it very easy for me to do. In all honesty, it's a bit easier in this session to be in front.” Regulator Racing has opted to use the same strategy as they did in Sonoma, with Ellis being promoted to Driver 1, and Burton part of the Driver 2 group, which is typically categorized as Pro driver entries. 

In Qualifying 2, it was Robby Foley and Colin Braun who were neck and neck in the No. 29 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 and No. 04 Crowdstrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3, with Foley maintaining a slight advantage throughout the majority of the session. 

However, Neil Verhagen set off on a mission, equipped with new tires on his ST Racing BMW machine for the end of the session. He clocked in a rapid lap time of 1:59.316, securing the Pro-Am and overall pole position for Race 2. Foley and Braun followed suit, qualifying second and third in class. 

“Neil's a rock star around here,” said Team Manager Jon Miller. “We've been working really hard on extracting the one-lap pace out of this car. We feel like we've got pretty good on the long-run pace, but the one-lap pace has eluded us. So we've tried a couple of different things and we wanted to give Neil a chance to feel the track and then put him on fresh tires to go for one flier.” 

Let’s Get Racing

The GT America Powered by AWS field will return to the track for Race 1 on Saturday afternoon, May 4th at 3:05 PM EST. 

If you can’t make it to Sebring, be sure to tune-in to SRO’s free livestreams all weekend long on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports) and follow all the action through our social media channels and the event hashtag #GTSebring.