Pirro wins provisional pole

SEBRING, Fla. (March 14, 2001) -- Audi R8 Prototype driver Emanuele Pirro of Italy won the provisional pole Wednesday for Saturday's American Le Mans Series Superflo 12 Hours At Sebring, Presented by Dodge. Pirro, part of the ...

SEBRING, Fla. (March 14, 2001) -- Audi R8 Prototype driver Emanuele Pirro of Italy won the provisional pole Wednesday for Saturday's American Le Mans Series Superflo 12 Hours At Sebring, Presented by Dodge. Pirro, part of the winning team in last year's running of the classic event, turned the 3.7-mile circuit at 122.079 mph (1:49.110), fastest of the 38 cars that posted qualifying times in the first round. Final qualifying will be held on Thursday. "Normally we produce a fast lap on lap two (of qualifying)," said Pirro, who will co-drive with Frank Biela of Germany and Tom Kristensen of Denmark. "Today, we were quite happy with the first lap, and the second lap was slower because of the heat." Ron Fellows of Canada led GTS class qualifying with a lap of 110.591 mph (2:00.444) in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Fellows has been the GTS pole winner for the last two Sebring 12-hour events and will co-drive with Johnny O'Connell and Chris Kneifel. "We got a good lap," said Fellows. "It was closer than we wanted. We were working on tire combinations and preparing for the race and never really tried to get a fast lap in practice." Claudia Huertgen of Germany, driving a Lola B2K-Judd, was the fastest car in the LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes at 107.767 mph (2:03.600). She will co-drive with Americans Mel Hawkins and Steven Knight. "This qualifying session wasn't so good," she said. "We made a change before the qualifying and I think we went the wrong way. So (Thursday) I'll be faster." Sascha Maassen of Germany was the fastest qualifier in the GT class, posting a track record lap of 105.078 mph (2:06.763) in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Maassen and co-driver Lucas Luhr were class winners in the 2001 ALMS season opener in Texas and will be joined for the Sebring race by Emmanuel Collard. "I was in the pits for the beginning of qualifying because I wanted to know how fast the track was," said Maassen. "Qualifying is good for the ego, and for the press, but now we have to start working on the race." -ALMS

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Series ALMS
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Frank Biela , Chris Kneifel , Ron Fellows , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr