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 Audi R10 and Porsche Spyder lead way at Sebring

January 24, 2006

Audi R10 leads Porsche Spyder

Speeds were up and times were down on the second day of the American Le Mans Series Winter Test, with the Audi R10 heading to the top of the speed chart. Rinaldo Capello turned a 1:48.816 during the second of the three sessions Tuesday at Sebring International Raceway.

This is the first American test for the new diesel-powered prototype, two of which are scheduled to start the 54th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 18.

Next was Penske Racing’s Porsche RS Spyder, with Lucas Luhr posting a lap of 1:49.477 during the day’s first 90-minute session. Third on Tuesday was Andy Wallace in Highcroft Racing’s No. 9 AER-powered Lola EX257-AER, a 1:49.547 effort.

On its first day at the Winter Test, Flying Lizard Motorsports’ No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR posted the fastest time among all GT2 cars at 2:03.361 with Mike Rockenfeller at the wheel. Rockenfeller worked with the team Tuesday to assist in the setup process. Seth Neiman and Lonnie Pechnik are driving the car this week, as well. The car actually was the fastest GT2 entry in each of the three sessions.

Next was Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz’s No. 50 Panoz Esperante of Gunnar Jeannette and Scott Maxwell. Jeannette posted a 2:04.664 in the afternoon session.

MUSICAL CHAIRS: There were a number of faces in different places Tuesday during the three test sessions. Oh, where to start?

Highcroft Lola

Andy Wallace turned a number of laps Tuesday afternoon – and Monday – in Highcroft Racing’s Lola EX257-AER. That’s the No. 16 Dyson Racing entry that Wallace piloted last year at Sebring and at Petit Le Mans.

“It’s nice to see our old cars here,” Chris Dyson said. “There’s no one better to give some feedback on the car than Andy.”

Tom Milner took a turn in Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz’s Panoz Esperante GTLM on Tuesday morning. Larry Holt, Multimatic’s vice president and team technical director was quite pleased Milner’s performance.

In addition, BMW Team PTG says that Graham Rahal will test in one of its BMW M3s on Wednesday.

No. 8 Mazda

FULL CIRCLE FOR B-K: B-K Motorsports is back where it all began as far as the American Le Mans Series goes. It was 10 months ago that the team’s LMP2 program got off the ground with an announcement at last year’s 12 Hours.

So far, the team’s first Winter Test has gone extremely well. Guy Cosmo was very upbeat Tuesday afternoon. He had tested the car in the morning, and Raphael Matos took the car out during the afternoon. Both Cosmo and Matos are former Star Mazda North America champions, and both have extensive

“In (the Courage), you hit the bump and you have to trust that you’ll have the same grip when you hit the track again,” Cosmo said. “We had a little trouble in the morning with that but I think we’ve solved it.”

HELLO OLLIE: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin rolled into Sebring on Monday night and spent part of Tuesday at the race track visiting with Dyson Racing. Gavin, who won the 2005 GT1 drivers championship with teammate Olivier Beretta, will drive for Dyson at Daytona this weekend.

Corvette Racing has a test session scheduled at Sebring for three days in early February. Early reports indicate the new version of the Corvette C6.R has been solid so far, but there’s always room for some form of improvement.

On a side note, Gavin said that 3-month-old Fergus is doing quite well. Of course, Dad couldn’t be prouder.

AROUND THE PADDOCK: Audi Sport North America’s two Audi R10s didn’t make the three-hour afternoon session. Capello suffered a puncture as he left pit lane during the day’s second session, which the team said was caused by the bodywork slicing the rubber. The team expects to be back on track Wednesday. … Penske Racing’s Porsche RS Spyder had to deal with a couple of engine issues early, the most notable a small fire during Tuesday’s second session. By the afternoon, though, the car was running normally – which is to say among the quickest cars on the track. … Marino Franchitti and Bryan Sellers, who drove the No. 51 Panoz Esperante last year for Panoz Motor Sports, were in the pits checking out the performance of the No. 50 car late Tuesday.

The American Le Mans Series Winter Test concludes today with two four-hour sessions at Sebring International Raceway.

American Le Mans Series Winter Test
Session 4
1. Maassen/Luhr/Collard, 1:49.477 (121.669 mph), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2)
2. Dyson/Weaver, 1:50.665 (120.363 mph), Lola B06/10-AER (LMP1)
3. Capello, 1:51.808 (119.133 mph), Audi R10 (LMP1)
4. Dayton/Knoop/Fisken/Wallace, 1:52.168 (118.750 mph), Lola EX257-AER (LMP1)
5. Field/Field/Halliday, 1:53.826 (117.021 mph), Lola B05/40-AER (LMP2)
6. Cosmo/Matos, 1:55.960 (114.867 mph), Courage C65-Mazda (LMP2)
7. Neiman/Pechnik, 2:04.549 (106.946 mph), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2)
8. Hand/Marks, 2:05.131 (106.448 mph), BMW E46 M3 (GT2)
9. Jeannette/Maxwell, 2:05.802 (105.881 mph), Panoz Esperante LMGT (GT2)
10. Auberlen/Milner, 2:05.998 (105.716 mph), BMW E46 M3 (GT2)
11. Ehret/Nielsen/Farnbacher, 2:06.036 (105.684 mph), Porsche GT3 RSR (GT2)
12. van Overbeek/Fogarty, 2:06.349 (105.422 mph), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
13. Tomlinson/Kimber-Smith/Hughes, 2:06.376 (105.400 mph), Panoz Esperante LMGT (GT2)
14. Biela, no time, Audi R10 (LMP1)

Session 5
1. Capello, 1:48.816 (122.408 mph), Audi R10 (LMP1)
2. Dyson/Weaver, 1:52.288 (118.624 mph), Lola B06/10-AER (LMP1)
3. Field/Field/Halliday, 1:52.676 (118.215 mph), Lola B05/40-AER (LMP2)
4. Biela, 1:54.037 (116.804 mph), Audi R10 (LMP1)
5. Dayton/Knoop/Fisken/Wallace, 1:57.101 (113.748 mph), Lola EX257-AER (LMP1)
6. Cosmo/Matos, 1:57.244 (113.609 mph), Courage C65-Mazda (LMP2)
7. Neiman/Pechnik, 2:04.952 (106.601 mph), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2)
8. van Overbeek/Fogarty, 2:05.031 (106.534 mph), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2)
9. Jeannette/Maxwell, 2:05.243 (106.353 mph), Panoz Esperante LMGT (GT2)
10. Tomlinson/Kimber-Smith/Hughes, 2:05.958 (105.750 mph), Panoz Esperante LMGT (GT2)
11. Hand/Marks, 2:06.504 (105.293 mph), BMW E46 M3 (GT2)
12. Ehret/Nielsen/Farnbacher, 2:07.167 (104.744 22 mph), Porsche GT3 RSR (GT2)
13. Auberlen/Milner, 2:08.920 (103.320 mph), BMW E46 M3 (GT2)
14. Maassen/Luhr/Collard, 2:18.603 (96.102 mph), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2)

Session 6
1. Dayton/Knoop/Fisken/Wallace, 1:49.547 (121.592 mph), Lola EX257-AER (LMP1)
2. Field/Field/Halliday, 1:50.231 (120.837 mph), Lola B05/40-AER (LMP2)
3. Maassen/Luhr/Collard, 1:50.313 (120.747 mph), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2)
4. Dyson/Weaver, 1:50.359 (120.697 mph), Lola B06/10-AER (LMP1)
5. Cosmo/Matos, 1:56.696 (114.143 mph), Courage C65-Mazda (LMP2)
6. Neiman/Pechnik, 2:03.361 (107.976 mph), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2)
7. Jeannette/Maxwell, 2:04.664 (106.847 mph), Panoz Esperante LMGT (GT2)
8. Tomlinson/Kimber-Smith/Hughes, 2:04.903 (106.643 mph), Panoz Esperante LMGT (GT2)
9. Hand/Marks, 2:05.170 (106.415 mph), BMW E46 M3 (GT2)
10. Ehret/Nielsen/Farnbacher, 2:05.298 (106.307 mph), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2)
11. van Overbeek/Fogarty, 2:05.750 (105.924 mph), Porsche GT3 RSR (GT2)
12. Auberlen/Milner, 2:38.304 (84.142 mph), BMW E46 M3 (GT2)

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