Andy Lally captured his first career Sebring pole position and one on the debut for Dempsey Del Piero Racing with a 2:05.446 in the team’s No. 27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. He outpaced both Alex Job Racing’s Jeroen Bleekemolen and Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Spencer Pumpelly by .301 second. Pumpelly will start second as he was the first to post the 2:05.747 lap in the No. 45 Porsche.
Lally, driving with team owners Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster, wasn’t in the top five when he threw down his pole lap.
“The car was really good this morning when we rolled out in the morning practice session,” Lally said. “We knew it would get greasy for this session but overcompensated with too much understeer. I cooled the tires down, did an allowed air pressure change and it hooked us up.”
The GTC class during the testing and practice sessions was the tightest of the five categories. Prior to Lally’s lap, Bleekemolen was on the provisional pole by less than a tenth of a second, and the top seven cars were within a half-second.
It was a remarkable story for Lally – a Porsche specialist – and the Dempsey Del Piero squad. The team formed late in 2012 and tested its two Porsches at Sebring for the first time less than a month ago. Certainly the highest-profile component of the team is Dempsey, a Hollywood star and accomplished driver in his own right who is racing professionally at Sebring for the first time. Saturday, his Porsche will start from pole position in the ALMS’ biggest race.
“This is a phenomenal car and a phenomenal track for the drivers,” he said. “There is such a great history here. I’m so happy to be here and lucky to be here racing. There has a been a lot going on in the last month from when we got the car. But it’s been fun and a great challenge. It’s a great escape to get out of Hollywood and be with everyone.”