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DATE News (chronologically)
01/23/07
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Penske team leads Wednesday times at Sebring UPDATE #1 Ryan Briscoe hasn't wasted any time acquainting himself with the Porsche RS Spyder. The Australian factory driver set the fastest time in each of Tuesday's two sessions of the American Le Mans Series Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway.

Announced as a Porsche factory driver two days ago, Briscoe put in the fastest lap of Tuesday's morning session at 1:47.280 in Penske Motorsports' No. 6 LMP2 entry. He lowered that to 1:47.219 in the afternoon period and found himself 0.228 seconds ahead of defending class champion and teammate Sascha Maassen. The two will be sharing the No. 6 prototype for the full season.

"It really is amazing to drive," Briscoe said of the RS Spyder. "I thought it was going to be dramatically different than what I've driven before. It's like an open-wheel car with covers on. It's so quick in the corners."

Porsche actually held the top three positions at the end of the day Tuesday. Dyson Racing's new Porsche RS Spyder, which hit the track for the first time Monday, was just 0.42 seconds off Tuesday's pace with Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson. Wallace posted the team's best lap in each both sessions, and his quickest came in the morning. The three Acura-powered entries were next with the Lowe's Fernandez Racing Lola B05/40 of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz at 1:48.207.

The top three times in GT2 each came in the morning session. After a slight delay getting to Sebring following its showing at the Detroit Auto Show, Risi Competizione's Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta set the pace with factory driver Jaime Melo turning in a 2:01.944. Next in class was the first of the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Type 997s. The No. 45, being driven by Johannes van Overbeek and defending class champion Jorg Bergmeister, was a half second behind the Ferrari. Tafel Racing's two Porsches followed in the 2:03 range.

"We showed what the car could do last year, and we have made improvements for this year," Melo said. "Risi Competizione is ready to go. The car is very competitive and I have to concentrate on doing my job and doing it well."

Quotes following Tuesday Danica Patrick, Andretti Green Racing Courage LC75-Acura (LMP2) "The car is actually pretty good. Bryan and Dario did a lot of the setup work so I came in on the back end of that. But it's important to be a part of the Acura development program. I wasn't sure how comfortable I'd be with Bryan and Dario being so much taller than me. But there are still some other things we need to work out.

"I know what it's like racing sports cars. It's pretty fun and it keeps you sharp. It's good to have cars around you and keeps you focused with traffic going by and making passes with the different classes of cars. There are a lot of great places to pass here. That's a good thing to have the discrepancies in speeds between the cars.

"I did about 20 laps and was a little off of Bryan and Dario. But I don't think it's so much that I can't make up with more time in the car."

Kim Green, Andretti Green Racing Co-Owner Courage LC75-Acura (LMP2) "You are always learning at a place like Sebring. We have had two really good days. We weren't really happy with the car after Monday. Since then it has been fine. Certainly I have confidence in Acura to give us an engine to run the whole race. The chassis has been holding up so far very well."

Jaime Melo, Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta (GT2) "We tested in November or December and made a little change to the setup. The biggest difference now is that the car is very good on the bumps and is quite stable. The balance of the car is very close to being the same. Most of the work has been on the shocks.

"We need to do a bit of work (on top-end power). That hopefully will come. We're planning on doing tire tests the rest of the day and focus on shocks tomorrow."

Terry Borcheller, Team Trans Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR-Type 997 (GT2) "I'm hoping this will be a full-season effort. We're learning a lot with the Yokohama tires, which did great. We've been trying to get through some teething problems and a few setup issues that will stick us up front. Over the years the GT2 class has been one of the most competitive classes in the Series and I think this year will be the same. Porsche is very dependable, Risi builds and runs great cars and PTG knows how to make a car go fast. It will be very, very tight."

Andy Wallace, Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2) "This is my first time in a Porsche prototype. I've driven the Bentley, an Audi, Lolas of course and the Creation. The Lola was a very nice car. Every time I sat in it, I had a pretty good feeling. With that being said, I'm just so excited with this car. I have so much praise for Porsche and the engineering and development they represent. I am still gobsmacked with the performance of the car."

"We've gotten a lot of help from the Porsche engineers here and are taking some of their suggestions. We also have had some ideas and thoughts from Peter Weston (Dyson engineer). Today we took a little bit of downforce out of the car. The smaller restrictor size is still a bit of an issue. We got a little more straight-line speed. We'll probably go back the other way this afternoon just to make sure we know where we are."

Luis Diaz, Lowe's Fernandez Racing Lola B05/40-Acura (LMP2) (Sebring) is very much like a giant street circuit! We still have some work to do with the dampers to get over the bumps. We also still need to work out on the car to find a little more speed and fix a little bit of understeer.

"The car is very drivable. I think in that department we OK. The car has been very good in all the tests."

Jorg Bergmeister, Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR-Type 997 (GT2) "I'm pretty happy so far. We've made quite a lot of improvements over yesterday. Most of the work has been done to help going over the bumps, particularly in Turns 1 and 17. There is still some work to be done though."

SESSION 1
1. Penske Motorsports, Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47.280 (124.161 mph)
2. Penske Motorsports, Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47.500 (123.907 mph)
3. Dyson Racing, Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47.652 (123.732 mph)
4. Lowe's Fernandez Racing, Lola B05/40-Acura, 1:49.346 (121.815 mph)
5. Highcroft Racing, Courage C75-Acura (LMP2), 1:49.391 (121.765 mph)
6. Andretti Green Racing, Courage LC75-Acura (LMP2), 1:49.493 (121.652 mph)
7. Intersport Racing, Lola B05/40-AER (LMP2), 1:50.032 (121.056 mph)
8. Risi Competizione, Ferrari 430 GT Berlinietta (GT2), 2:01.944 (109.230 mph)
9. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:02.446 (108.783 mph)
10. Tafel Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:03.689 (107.689 mph)
11. Tafel Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:03.863 (107.538 mph)
12. Panoz Team PTG, Panoz Esperante GTLM, 2:04.029 (107.394 mph)
13. Farnbacher Loles, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:04.312 (107.150 mph)
14. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:04.717 (106.802 mph)
15. Panoz Team PTG, Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 2:04.730 (106.791 mph)
16. Team Trans Sports, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:04.793 (106.737 mph)
17. Robertson Racing, Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 2:11.983 100.922
18. Autocon Motorsports, Lola EX257-AER (LMP1), 2:42.057 (82.193 mph)

SESSION 2
1. Penske Motorsports, Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47:219 (124.232 mph)
2. Penske Motorsports, Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47:447 (124.968 mph)
3. Dyson Racing, Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47:922 (123.097 mph)
4. Lowe's Fernandez Racing, Lola B05/40-Acura, 1:48:207 (123.370 mph)
5. Andretti Green Racing, Courage 675-Acura (LMP2), 1:49:747 (121.370 mph)
6. Intersport Racing, Lola B05/40-AER (LMP2), 149.940 (121.157 mph)
7. Highcroft Racing, Courage C75-Acura (LMP2), 150.675 (120.352 mph)
8. Autocon Motorsports, Lola EX257-AER (LMP1), 1:54.426 (116.407 mph)
9. Risi Competizione, Ferrari 430 GT-Berlinetta (GT2), 2:02:772 (108.494 mph)
10. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:03:429 (107.916 mph)
11. Tafel Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:03:879 (107.524 mph)
12. Tafel Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:03:912 (107.496 mph)
13. Panoz Team PTG, Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 2.05.141 (106.440 mph)
14. Farnbacher Loles, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:05:175 (106.411 mph)
15. Panoz Team PTG, Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 2:05:177(106.409 mph)
16. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:05:465 (106.165 mph)
17. Robertson Racing, Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 2:09:006 (103.251 mph)


01/23/07 Newcomer Ryan Briscoe posted the fastest time in Tuesday’s opening session of the American Le Mans Series Winter Test at Sebring. Fresh off a contract signing that established him as a Porsche factory pilot, the Australian toured Sebring International Raceway in 1:47.280 in the team’s No. 6 Porsche RS Spyder.

Briscoe will be teaming with defending class champion Sascha Maassen for the full season. Through Tuesday’s two-and-a-half hours the Aussie has acquainted himself rather well. He was 0.22 seconds better than the sister car driven by Emmanuel Collard. The Frenchman is sharing seat time with Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard.

“It really is amazing to drive,” Briscoe said. “I thought it was going to be dramatically different than what I’ve driven before. It’s like an open-wheel car with covers on. It’s so quick in the corners.” zzzz

Porsche actually held the top three positions Tuesday morning. Dyson Racing’s new Porsche RS Spyder, which hit the track for the first time Monday, was just 0.372 seconds off the pace with Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson. The three Acura-powered entries were next with the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Lola B05/40 fourth overall.

In its first session of the week, Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta set the pace with factory driver Jaime Melo turning in a 2:01.944. Next in class was the first of the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Type 997s. The No. 45, being driven by Johannes van Overbeek and defending class champion Jorg Bergmeister, was a half second behind the Ferrari. Tafel Racing’s two Porsches followed in the 2:03 range.

Quotes following the first session
Jaime Melo, Risi Competizione

Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta (GT2)
“We tested in November or December and made a little change to the setup. The biggest difference now is that the car is very good on the bumps and is quite stable. The balance of the car is very close to being the same. Most of the work has been on the shocks.”

“We need to do a bit of work (on top-end power). That hopefully will come. We’re planning on doing tire tests the rest of the day and focus on shocks tomorrow.”

Andy Wallace, Dyson Racing
Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2)
“This is my first time in a Porsche prototype. I’ve driven the Bentley, an Audi, Lolas of course and the Creation. The Lola was a very nice car. Every time I sat in it, I had a pretty good feeling. With that being said, I’m just so excited with this car. I have so much praise for Porsche and the engineering and development they represent. I am still gobsmacked with the performance of the car.”

“We’ve gotten a lot of help from the Porsche engineers here and are taking some of their suggestions. We also have had some ideas and thoughts from Peter Weston (Dyson engineer). Today we took a little bit of downforce out of the car. The smaller restrictor size is still a bit of an issue. We got a little more straightline speed. We’ll probably go back the other way this afternoon just to make sure we know where we are.”

Luis Diaz, Lowe’s Fernandez Racing
Lola B05/40-Acura (LMP2)
“(Sebring) is very much like a giant street circuit! We still have some work to do with the dampers to get over the bumps. We also still need to work out on the car to find a little more speed and fix a little bit of understeer.

“The car is very drivable. I think in that department we OK. The car has been very good in all the tests.”

Jorg Bergmeister, Flying Lizard Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR-Type 997 (GT2)
“I’m pretty happy so far. We’ve made quite a lot of improvements over yesterday. Most of the work has been done to help going over the bumps, particularly in Turns 1 and 17. There is still some work to be done though.”

SESSION 1
1. Penske Motorsports (Briscoe/Maassen), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47.280 (124.161 mph)
2. Penske Motorsports (Collard/Dumas/Bernhard), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47.500 (123.907 mph)
3. Dyson Racing (Wallace/Dyson), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:47.652 (123.732 mph)
4. Lowe’s Fernandez Racing (Fernandez/Diaz), Lola B05/40-Acura, 1:49.346 (121.815 mph)
5. Highcroft Racing (Brabham/Johansson/Dayton), Courage C75-Acura (LMP2), 1:49.391 (121.765 mph)
6. Andretti Green Racing (Herta/Franchitti), Courage LC75-Acura (LMP2), 1:49.493 (121.652 mph)
7. Intersport Racing (J. Field/Berry/C. Field), Lola B05/40-AER (LMP2), 1:50.032 (121.056 mph)
8. Risi Competizione (Melo/Mowlem), Ferrari 430 GT Berlinietta (GT2), 2:01.944 (109.230 mph)
9. Flying Lizard Motorsports (van Overbeek/Bergmeister), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:02.446 (108.783 mph)
10. Tafel Racing (Henzler/Liddell), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:03.689 (107.689 mph)
11. Tafel Racing (Farnbacher/Tafel), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:03.863 (107.538 mph)
12. Panoz Team PTG (Maxwell), Panoz Esperante GTLM, 2:04.029 (107.394 mph)
13. Farnbacher Loles (Werner/Zugel), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:04.312 (107.150 mph)
14. Flying Lizard Motorsports (Neiman/Law), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:04.717 (106.802 mph)
15. Panoz Team PTG (Auberlen/Hand), Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 2:04.730 (106.791 mph)
16. Team Trans Sports (Pappas/Fitzgerald/Borcheller/Montoya), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 2:04.793 (106.737 mph)
17. Robertson Racing (D. Robertson/A. Robertson/Luyendyk Jr.), Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 2:11.983 100.922
18. Autocon Motorsports (Lewis/McMurry/Willman), Lola EX257-AER (LMP1),
2:42.057 (82.193 mph)

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