The quickest, cleanest Sebring on record The race to tomorrow is faster than ever. Both Audi Sport Team Joest and Corvette Racing raced the farthest, the fastest and the most efficient at the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday. Not only did the two cars win their class championships in America’s greatest sports car race, they also claimed the first MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge trophies of 2009.
The awards - based on overall performance, greenhouse gasses emitted and amount of petroleum displaced - go to the most efficient prototype team and GT team at each American Le Mans Series race.
The brand new Audi R15 TDI of Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish completed a race-record 383 laps, the most completed at Sebring International Raceway under the current 3.7-mile, 17-turn track configuration. Using diesel power, the Audi also achieved the all-time distance record (1,417.1 miles) and posted the highest average speed in the history of the 12 Hours at 117.986 mph).
Capello, Kristensen and McNish scored an epic victory by 22.279 seconds over Peugeot’s Sebastien Bourdais, Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin in a diesel-powered Peugeot 908 HDi. A second Audi R15 TDI finished third, marking the first time that alternative fuel racers swept the overall podium at Sebring.
Corvette Racing’s trio of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell set a Sebring mark by completing 349 laps, the most for a GT class car at Sebring since the formation of the American Le Mans Series in 1999. The winning Corvette C6.R’s average speed of 107.226 mph was nearly 3 mph faster than any other GT speed in that span and was quicker than the overall winner’s speed in 2002.
In an illustration of the advancement of performance and efficiency, the winning GTS car at Sebring in 1999 averaged 88.274 mph, nearly 20 mph less than the Corvette of Garcia, Magnussen and O’Connell.
“Seeing Audi and Corvette both win the MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge and the race itself proves that you can be fast, efficient and clean,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager. “Fast and ‘Green’ are not mutually exclusive concepts. As we saw today, great technology and innovation can produce both.”
The next race for the American Le Mans Series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg from the St. Petersburg street circuit. The green flag is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 4. ABC Sports will televise the race live beginning at 1:30 p.m. Live Timing & Scoring and American Le Mans Radio can be found at the new americanlemans.com.
The race also will mark the first street race for the MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge. For tickets, visit americanlemans.com or gpstpete.com.
MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge
The MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge, created jointly by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, SAE International and the American Le Mans Series, uses a system ranking all cars in the race according to average speed and distance covered, along with the amount of energy used, greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted and petroleum displaced. The MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge is a race-within-a-race at every American Le Mans Series event.