Tom Kristensen set the quickest practice lap for the first this week at Sebring International Raceway in the final one-hour session prior to Saturday’s 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, the opening round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series.
Audi’s Great Dane set a time Friday morning of 1:45.200 (126.616 mph) in the brand new Audi R15 TDI that is making its worldwide debut. Kristensen, a four-time overall Sebring winner and 24 Hours of Le Mans record-holder with eight victories, is teaming with Allan McNish and Dindo Capello. The trio is the reigning Le Mans winning group.
The second Audi R15 TDI sat second, just 0.089 seconds behind. The entry of Mike Rockenfeller, and defending Series LMP1 champions Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner was at 1:45.289 (126.509 mph) as Audi sat 1-2 for the second time this week.
The first of Peugeot’s 908 HDi factory coupes sat third overall at 1:45.674 (126.048 mph) with Stephane Sarrazin, Franck Montagny and Sebastien Bourdais driving.
Adrian Fernandez threw down a late flyer to set the fastest time in LMP2. The Mexican star posted a time of 1:50.292 (120.770 mph) in the Acura ARX-01b that he will drive with Luis Diaz. Fernandez sat just 0.613 seconds ahead of Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith in one of the team’s Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupes.
Smith will drive with Chris Dyson and Andy Lally. Dyson Racing’s second Lola-Mazda of Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti and Ben Devlin was third in class at 1:51.654 (119.297 mph).
In GT1, Marcel Fässler posted the fastest time for Corvette Racing in the Corvette C6.R that he will share with Olivier Beretta and class pole-winner Oliver Gavin. The Swiss newcomer’s time of 1:58.864 (112.061 mph) was just 0.237 seconds ahead of the sister entry of Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.
American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long went fastest in GT2 for Flying Lizard Motorsports and one of its Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs. Long’s time of 2:03.722 (107.661 mph) in the car that he will drive with Jörg Bergmeister and Marc Lieb, was only 0.003 seconds ahead of the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche of class pole-sitter Dirk Werner, Wolf Henzler and Richard Lietz.
Flying Lizard’s other Porsche of Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek was third in class at 2:03.988 (107.430 mph).
The Sebring 12 Hours will open the 11th season of the American Le Mans Series and serve as the 100th all-time Series race. SPEED will televise the race live from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-11 p.m. ET. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing & Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com.
America’s greatest sports car race can be heard on XM Channel 242 as well as Sirius Channel 126. The broadcast will air from 10 a.m to noon and 9 to 11 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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