Sebring Day 3 AM: Pirro and Audi out front Audi Sport North America’s Emanuele Pirro set his first fast lap of the 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Wednesday as practice continued for the 2007 American Le Mans Series season opener. Pirro, in one of Audi’s two R10 TDIs, turned in a best time of 1:46.759 to lead all drivers in Wednesday’s first practice.
Pirro, who has raced at Sebring each season since 1999 with Audi, will go for his second race win with Frank Biela and Marco Werner. The two-time LMP1 champion also is a four-time runner-up at America’s greatest sports car race.
Audi’s other diesel-powered R10 TDI was second overall with four-time Sebring winner Tom Kristensen at 1:46.950. He will reunite with Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish as the trio goes for a second straight race win.
In LMP2, Romain Dumas of Penske Racing posted the best time in class and second overall. The French Porsche factory pilot’s best effort was a 1:47.626 in one of the team’s Porsche RS Spyders, only 0.081 seconds ahead of Dyson Racing’s Andy Wallace in another Porsche prototype.
The first of the three Acura-powered entries was third in class, courtesy of 2004 IRL champion Tony Kanaan. The Andretti Green Racing driver turned in a time of 1:48.502 and was 0.3 seconds ahead of Dyson Racing’s other Porsche.
Team Modena’s Aston Martin DBR9 turned in a 1:59.524 with Antonio Garcia behind the wheel of the GT1 entry. Neither of Corvette Racing’s two Corvette C6.Rs participated in the session but both will return to the track for today’s 2:15 p.m. session.
Ferraris again held the top three spots in GT2. Risi Competizione’s two F430 GTs set the pace with Johnny Mowlem posting the fastest time at 2:03.425. He was just ahead of Colin Braun in the Risi/Krohn Racing Ferrari at 2:03.567. Tafel Racing’s first Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was the fastest Porsche at 2:03.717 with Porsche factory driver Patrick Long turning in the time.
The 2007 American Le Mans Series opens with the 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17 at Sebring International Raceway. The green flag will fall shortly after 10 a.m. with SPEED providing live coverage. The race also will be broadcast by American Le Mans Radio with IMSA Live Timing & Scoring available at americanlemans.com.
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