Zilisch takes Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup pole with new qualifying record at Sebring

Setting a lap more than two tenths quicker than the existing Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Michelin qualifying record, Connor Zilisch (No. 72 BSI Racing) captured the pole for Thursday’s race at Sebring International Raceway. He shares the front row with Tyler Gonzalez (No. 57 Saito Motorsports Group).

Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup has not raced at Sebring since 2021. Zilisch wasn’t part of that race, but you wouldn’t know it by the qualifying flier he turned on Wednesday. The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Cup Rookie of the Year earned pole position with a lap of 2m25.408s, breaking the record of 2m25.666s set by Gresham Wagner (No. 5 McCumbee McAleer Racing) in 2021.

“I’m glad that this BSI Racing team gave me a fast car to go out there and get the pole,” Zilisch said. “This track has been a lot of fun in an MX-5 Cup car. It’s my first time here in one of these so just figuring it out, learning. I have a lot of good teammates, Selin [Rollan] starts right behind me in the race so we should hopefully be able to stay out front and keep the team out front and have a good weekend. It’s good to qualify on pole and get the weekend started right.”


Gonzalez was only 0.9s shy of the pole time and will share the front row with Zilisch.

Former MX-5 Cup winner at Sebring, Selin Rollan (No. 87 BSI Racing) starts third.

Racing for the first time at Sebring on Michelin tires, the top three drivers were all under the existing qualifying lap record.

Round Three of the Mazda MX-5 Cup takes place Thursday, March 14 at 1:05pm ET with live streaming available on and

Story originally appeared on Racer