Qualifying was a family affair in Sebring today, as Henrique and Eduardo Cisneros earned BBS Pole Awards by taking their first IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama pole positions, ahead of the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Henrique Cisneros moved from Gold Cup to Platinum this season, driving the #26 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car for NGT Motorsport. Earning his first pole position in his first race in the big class was especially gratifying.
“I knew I had to make it count on the first lap,” said Cisneros, “so I didn’t have to do any more laps than I had to and I could save the tires. I was able to get it done on the first lap. The guys behind me have a few more laps on their tires, so I just have to be consistent and try to pull out a gap as soon as possible. But right now, I’m just really happy for me and for my brother!”
Cooper MacNeil (#20 Alex Job Racing) and Mark Bullitt (#6 Muscle Milk Team Cytosport) round out the top three in Platinum Cup.
Eduardo Cisneros stayed in Gold Cup class this season, and judging by his performance in qualifying – despite only arriving at Sebring on Wednesday afternoon – it was a good call.
“I was on vacation and I think that actually helped!” said Cisneros, driving the #29 Porsche for NGT Motorsport. “I was pretty relaxed when I got here, which was good, since I only had one practice. I just tried to remember everything I learned at the winter test. We had some problems in practice so I went out today not knowing if the car was fixed or not and luckily, the team did a great job. I’m thrilled that it’s both of our first pole positions ever!”
Michael Levitas (#36 TPC Racing) and Peter Collins (#4 MGM Motorsports) start behind Cisneros.
The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in the largest single-make series in North America. Powered by one of the world’s most successful race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, the multi-class structure of the series teaches drivers essential skills for an eventual career in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
The series is divided into two classes; the Platinum Cup, featuring the more powerful 2011 and 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, and the Gold Cup, which includes 2005½ – 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. Both classes race on environmentally-focused Yokohama ADVAN ENV-R2 racing tires.
Rounds 2 and 1 are set for Thursday, March 17 at 5:05pm and Friday, March 18 at 4:20pm, ahead of the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Live timing, news and schedule information can be found at www.imsachallenge.com.