Aston Martin tops Tuesday test times in Sebring
Adrian Fernandez, Chris Buncombe and Harold Primat will drive the Lola-Aston Martin coupe at the season-opening 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. Already heavy work has started for the team after the crashed in the afternoon session at Turn 1 hard into the wall.
Primat was transported to a local hospital for observation but released later in the evening.
Intersport Racing’s Lola B06/10-AER of Jon and Clint Field sat second with a 1:47.925 (123.419 mph) pass around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit, not far off the pace of the Aston Martin team. Intersport’s best time came in the afternoon session.
Less than 0.4 seconds back was Dyson Racing’s Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupe of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. The team is continuing its tire development program with new technical partner Dunlop. The car’s best time was a 1:48.496 (122.770 mph) in the morning session.
Muscle Milk Team Cytosport and its Porsche RS Spyder sat third in P2 with a lap of 1:49.318 (121.846 mph) in the morning. Team owner Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf did the bulk of the time in the car over the two days with Sascha Maassen on hand as well.
In GT2, Risi Competizione’s Ferrari F430 GT was quickest in both of Tuesday’s sessions. The car of Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni set a best lap of 2:02.559 (108.682 mph) in the morning. Risi is the two-time and reigning class winner at Le Mans and hasn’t lost an endurance race since the Sebring race in 2008.
A pair of Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs were close behind. The entry of Darren Law and Seth Neiman sat second with a lap of 2:02.929 (108.355 mph). Porsche factory drivers Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, last year’s GT2 class champions, were third at 2:03.021 (108.274 mph).
All total, the eight fastest cars Tuesday were within one second of each other.
The Sebring test also marked the debut of the Le Mans Prototype Challenge class and the ORECA FLM09. Genoa Racing’s Larry Connor was credited with the fastest lap in class, a 1:56.753 (114.087 mph). He was less than 0.2 seconds quicker than Green Earth Team Gunnar’s entry of Gunnar Jeannette, Christian Zugel and Elton Julian.
Level 5 Motorsports was fifth in class with a lap of 1:57.054 (113.794 mph) with Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut driving.
In the GT Challenge class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entries, Rob Walton went quickest for Kelly Moss Racing. His lap of 2:07.795 (104.229 mph) gave him a slim, near half-second advantage over Darrell Carlisle in another Kelly Moss entry. GMG Racing’s Brent Holden was third in class at 2:08.412 (103.729 mph).
Joel Feinberg, Primetime Race Group
Wolf Henzler, Team Falken Tire
“We will do another two days (of testing at Sebring). There is a lot of work to do since everything is new – the tires, the team, the car. For sure we need to test and find out what we need, what the tires need and what the car needs. We need the two extra days for this. We are seeing in what direction we need to go for the first race.”
David Brabham, Patr¢n Highcroft Racing
Brian Wong, Intersport Racing
Andy Meyrick, Dyson Racing
The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED. Visit the American Le Mans Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, and American Le Mans Radio will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.
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