DIXON FASTEST ON FINAL DAY OF WINTER TEST
Scott Dixon turned in the fastest time on the final day of the American Le Mans Series' annual Winter Test on Wednesday. The reigning Indy 500 and IndyCar champion turned a lap of 1:45.671 (126.052 mph) in the morning session at Sebring International Raceway for de Ferran Motorsports.
The new Acura ARX-02a LMP1 entry that Dixon drove Wednesday morning was fastest in all but one of the eight sessions throughout the week. Teammate Simon Pagenaud has the week's quickest time, a 1:44.814 (127.082 mph) from Tuesday morning. His time bettered Marco Werner's standing qualifying record around the famed 17-turn, 3.7-mile layout, set in 2007 in an Audi R10 TDI. Pagenaud, Dixon and team owner Gil de Ferran will team for the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on March 21.
Dario Franchitti was second in Patron Highcroft Racing's Acura P1 with a fast lap of 1:46.367 (125.227 mph). He set his time in the day's final session and will drive in the 12 Hours with David Brabham and Scott Sharp.
This week was the first time Dixon and Franchitti drove the new Acura.
"It's much harder (than driving the previous Acura P2 car)," Franchitti said. "The weight and the size of the tires make it more physical. We still have a long way to go and some things to work on. But when the car is fully sorted out it will be unbelievable."
Adrian Fernandez was second in LMP2 on Wednesday in Lowe's Fernandez Racing's Acura ARX-01b. He set his lap of 1:49.008 (122.193 mph) during the second session in the car that he is sharing with Luis Diaz and Michel Jourdain Jr.
Fernandez was just 0.454 seconds better than Chris Dyson in Dyson Racing's Mazda-powered Lola B08/86. Dyson, Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti each drove the car Wednesday.
Richard Lietz went fastest in GT2 for Farnbacher Loles Racing and its new 2009-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. A Porsche factory driver, Lietz set a time of 2:02.960 (108.328 mph) in the car that he is driving with full-season partners Dirk Werner and Wolf Henzler.
Henzler was second quickest on the day with a lap of 2:02.839 (108.435 mph) in the middle session. Next up was Dominik Farnbacher in the much-improved Panoz Esperante GTLM from Panoz Team PTG. Farnbacher, a four-time winner in GT2 last season, turned in a lap of 2:03.980 (107.437 mph) in the car that he drove with Ian James.
The American Le Mans Series will open its 11th season with the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 21. SPEED will televise the race live from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-11 p.m. ET. Live Timing & Scoring and American Le Mans Radio will be available at americanlemans.com.