Sebring: BAM! qualifying report

Sebring bump BAM! will start the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from 18th on the GT grid after the team's record pole position was disallowed. Mike Rockenfeller qualified the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS first in class in two minutes...

Sebring bump

BAM! will start the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from 18th on the GT grid after the team's record pole position was disallowed. Mike Rockenfeller qualified the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS first in class in two minutes 4.169 seconds on the 3.7-mile Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway road course. The team was moved to the back of the grid after the post-qualifying technical inspection.

BAM! technical director Tim Munday explained: "We've just been put to the back of the grid for an infringement of a bodywork dimension. A plastic trim that sits on the front of the car was two millimeters out of specification, basically a bump in the plastic. If you sit the car in the sun, the plastic expands and it's illegal. If you sit it in the shade, it's legal again."

Rockenfeller, a rookie at Sebring, said his qualifying effort was a tribute to the BAM! crew, who had to rebuild a 2003 car after the team's 2004 car was destroyed in a crash on March 12. "I hope that was the right way to say thanks to the guys," he said. "They've done a great job the last few days to rebuild the car. First time in Sebring, to be on pole is just great!"

Rockenfeller, Leo Hindery and Peter Baron will alternate driving stints in the 12-hour race.

online!

BAM! fans can now follow the team through bamotorsport.com. The website includes daily updates during race week, a photo gallery, audio clips and a fan forum. Fans will also soon have an opportunity join Club BAM! through the site.

tire talk

BAM! enjoys the competitive advantage of racing on Michelin tires. The company provides teams with a range of tire options and expert technical advice to maximize performance. Jerry Rinaldo, Michelin ALMS operations manager, summarized the Sebring options.

"We brought 17 truckloads of tires to Sebring," he said. "We have 21 different solutions for the GT field. We have 10 different compounds of slicks [dry tires] and 11 in the wets. For each car, we have 10 sets of tires for the race. The tires are capable of double stints, but we don't recommend it because the fuel stints for the Porsches are a lot longer. Our tire climbs up after five or six laps and stays level throughout the whole stint, but halfway through a second stint, it will drop. So any time you save not changing tires would hurt at the end."

-bam/sp-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Leo Hindery , Peter Baron