Second-Row Start in GTP, GTD Pole for Acura at Sebring
- Kyle Marcelli claims GTD pole in Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
- Ricky Taylor qualifies third in the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 prototype
- Tom Blomqvist to start fifth in Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
It’s Acura on pole in the production-based GTD category; while Acura’s ARX-06 GTP prototypes will start third and fifth for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, second round in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
In the feature GTP category, Ricky Taylor piloted his Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 to third with a time of 1:46.100, less than three-tenths of a second off the pole time, and will start from the inside of the second row in tomorrow’s endurance racing classic.
Driving the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06, Tom Blomqvist will start from the inside of the third row, fifth, after posting a fast lap of 1:46.603.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In GTD, it was the #93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 claiming the pole starting position for tomorrow’s 12 Hours of Sebring in the hands of Kyle Marcelli.
Marcelli’s lap time of 1:59.714 was quickest of the GTD cars, and fourth of all GT cars in tomorrow’s race. He and co-drivers Ashton Harrison and Danny Formal will be chasing the win in the team’s second Sebring 12 Hour attempt following an eighth-place finish in GTD-pro last year in their IMSA debut.
The #66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 will roll off P18. The Sheena Monk, Katherine Legge and Marc Miller-piloted car suffered an incident during night practice when an LMP2 car unsafely re-entered the track following a spin in front of Monk. The team worked overtime to get their NSX ready for qualifying and Saturday’s 12-hour race.
Rolex 24 Qualifying Results
- 3rd overall – #10 Ricky Taylor, Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06. Co-drivers will be Filipe Albuquerque and Louis Deletraz.
- 5th overall – #60 Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06. Co-drivers are Colin Braun and Helio Castroneves.
- Pole GTD – #93 Kyle Marcelli, Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. Co-drivers include Ashton Harrison and Danny Formal.
- 18th GTD – #66 Sheena Monk, Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. Co-drivers will be Katherine Legge and Marc Miller.
- Acura Motorsports and its performance arm, Honda Performance Development, have recorded a total of eight victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring, including three class wins for Acura, four LMP2 class wins under the HPD umbrella, and an overall win in 2016.
- Acura is a three-time series DPi champion since joining the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2018, claiming the Manufacturer, Driver and Team DPi titles in 2019, 2020 and again in 2022, the final season in the DPi era.
- For 2023, the new Acura ARX-06 GTP effort continues to be spearheaded by a pair of IMSA championship-winning teams: Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport.
Ricky Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport ARX-06) Qualified third: “The Sebring weekend is always hectic, and the car is constantly changing with the track conditions. Our WTR/Andretti guys have been mainly focusing on the race car, but the guys did a very good job [setting up the car] for qualifying. We went for two sets [of Michelin tires], others made it happen on their first set. I think we had a car [capable] of the pole, and I think we can take that speed into the race. I think we have the best car and teammates, so I’m very confident of what we can do tomorrow.”
Tom Blomqvist (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06): Qualified fifth: “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.”
Kyle Marcelli (#93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) GTD pole qualifier: “What a great way to start the weekend. Yesterday was a long day, three practice sessions, must have been a 16-hour day start-to-finish. I felt pretty exhausted last night, and you don’t get a lot of sleep. This morning, though, track conditions were absolutely fantastic—the ambient temps, the blue skies, it was a beautiful morning to qualify. We knew we would have a strong Acura NSX, we’ve been competitive throughout the practice sessions thus far—but I also knew it wasn’t going to be easy, a couple of the other teams have been right there and I knew it would be a close fight. We just let it all hang out. Who knows what would have happened if it weren’t for that red flag, some of the other cars may have found some speed, but we made it happen when it counted. Huge thank you to Wayne Taylor Racing, Racers Edge and Harrison Contracting for this opportunity, it was emotional! I was crying in there! It’s a good place to start and I’m so thankful to everyone.”
Where to Watch the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
Television coverage from Sebring begins at 10:05 a.m. ET Saturday with complete, flag-to-flag coverage on NBC Peacock. Coverage is also available on the USA Network beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET and continuing until 10:30 p.m. ET.
Fans can listen to audio commentary via IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and Sirius XM Radio; and follow the race live via in-car cameras, IMSA Radio and timing & scoring available worldwide on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile device App.