Reigning Le Mans co-champion leads another Peugeot 1-2
Marc Gene went back to the top of the timing screen Thursday night with the quickest time in Thursday’s night practice for the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. The Spanish star turned a lap of 1:45.494 in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP that he will share with fellow reigning Le Mans 24 Hours winner Alexander Wurz and Anthony Davidson in the opening round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
Gene, a test driver for Ferrari’s F1 team, was 0.317 seconds better than Pedro Lamy in the sister Peugeot diesel. He set a time of 1:45.811 in the prototype he is driving with Sebastien Bourdais and Nic Minassian, who were fastest in the morning and afternoon practice, respectively.
Aston Martin Racing’s Lola B09/60-Aston Martin sat third in the night session with Adrian Fernandez turning the car’s fastest lap – a 1:48.180 effort. He will drive with Harold Primat and Stefan Mücke.
In LMP2, Patrón Highcroft Racing’s David Brabham went quickest in the Honda Performance Development ARX-01c that he will drive with Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti. Brabham’s lap of 1:48.711 was good for a 2.278-second advantage over Klaus Graf in the Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Porsche RS Spyder. Graf will drive the car with team owner Greg Pickett and Sascha Maassen, a four-time class winner at Sebring.
Dyson Racing newcomer Andy Meyrick was third in P2 with a lap of 1:55.700 in the isobutanol-powered Lola B09/86-Mazda that he will drive with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith.
The top three in LMP Challenge – featuring ORECA’s FLM09 prototype – were separated by a scant 0.372 seconds. Genoa Racing’s JR Hildebrand went fastest at 1:57.393 in the car he will drive with Andy Wallace and Tom Sutherland. Ryan Hunter-Reay was only 0.078 seconds behind in the first of two Level 5 Motorsports entries; he is teaming with James Gue and Scott Tucker.
Mark Wilkins was third in the second Level 5 prototype that he will share with Tucker and Christophe Bouchut. Wilkins’ best lap was a 1:57.765.
BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team went 1-2 in GT2 for the third consecutive session. Dirk Müller put the BMW M3 that he is driving with Joey Hand and Andy Priaulx out front with a lap of 2:01.928, good enough for a 0.607-second advantage over Bill Auberlen in the second M3. Auberlen will team with Tommy Milner and Dirk Werner.
Johannes van Overbeek was third-fastest in Extreme Speed Motorsports’ Ferrari F430 GT. The ex-Flying Lizard Motorsports pilot posted a lap of 2:02.593 in the Ferrari that he will drive with Scott Sharp and Dominik Farnbacher.
The closeness of the top GT2 runners was just as impressive as LMPC with the top five cars within 0.977 seconds.
Leh Keen went quickest in GT Challenge for Alex Job Racing in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup that he will drive with Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger. Keen’s second-to-last lap was his best – a time of 2:08.012. He was 0.239 seconds better than Patrick Kelly in the Car Amigo-AJR Porsche with Luis Diaz and Ricardo Gonzalez. Kelly’s best lap was a 2:08.251. Andy Lally was third for TRG with 2:08.255 in the Porsche he will drive with Henri Richard and Duncan Ende.
The first four cars were separated by just 0.418 seconds.
Friday’s qualifying session is scheduled for 1:50 p.m. ET with americanlemans.com offering a live video stream of both prototype and GT sessions.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, the opening round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and America’s greatest sports car race, starts at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday. The green flag will fall at 10:30 a.m. ET with live coverage on SPEED starting at 10 a.m. ET. Live coverage also will be available on American Le Mans Radio, as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 245.Visit the Series’ schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.
Courtesy ALMS © RIF