Gianmaria Bruni added another highlight to Risi Competizione’s return to full-time ALMS competition with pole position in GT. The Italian set a time of 1:58.815 in the No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia that he shares with Olivier Beretta and Matteo Malucelli. This marks the fifth GT pole position at Sebring for Risi since 2007 and Bruni’s third straight.
“It was a very close battle, as it always is in GT,” Bruni said. “This is very challenging place for qualifying. Three poles in a row with Risi… I don’t know why. I like the bumpy circuit. It makes it a bit difficult for everyone.”
Bruni was .119 second clear of the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 Oliver Gavin, last year’s ALMS GT co-champion. Stefan Mucke was third at 1:58.990 in Aston Martin Racing’s No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8.
The top seven cars were within .728 second, and the entire class was within 1.550 seconds.
Ryan Briscoe saved his best for last to take his first career Sebring pole and first in the ALMS since late in the 2008 season in the P2 class. The Australian set a lap of 1:51.159 (121.124 mph) in Level 5 Motorsports’ No. 551 Honda Performance Development ARX-03b prototype. His time was .112 second better than teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 552 Level 5 entry.
The fight was a familiar one to IndyCar fans as both are open-wheel regulars.
“It’s great to be back in Sebring. I haven’t been here since 2008,” Briscoe said. “It’s great to see the hard work from the crew pay off with the pole. It was like old times dialing with Hunter-Reay for the pole. It’s been interesting as usual; the track conditions change so much. The wind has a big effect on the car at this place. It’s been difficult to remain patient and not chase the conditions too much.”