Pirro pfficially wins Sebring pole

SEBRING, Fla. (March 15, 2001) -- Emanuele Pirro won his career-first American Le Mans Series pole position Thursday as qualifying was completed for Saturday's 49th annual Superflo 12 Hours At Sebring, Presented by Dodge. Pirro,...

SEBRING, Fla. (March 15, 2001) -- Emanuele Pirro won his career-first American Le Mans Series pole position Thursday as qualifying was completed for Saturday's 49th annual Superflo 12 Hours At Sebring, Presented by Dodge. Pirro, driving an Audi R8 Prototype, led provisional qualifying on Wednesday and maintained the top spot Thursday, despite running slower due to 84-degree temperatures in the air around the historic 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway. His speed of 122.079 mph (1:49.110) held up from Wednesday. Pirro, from Italy, will share the Audi with co-drivers Tom Kristensen of Denmark and Frank Biela of Germany. The three won last year's Sebring event. The second Audi factory R8 will start second, driven by Rinaldo Capello and Michele Alboreto of Italy and Laurent Aiello of France. Oliver Gavin, from England, drove a Saleen S7R to a lap of 110.607 mph (2:00.426) to lead GTS class qualifying and score the first ALMS pole of his career in what will only be his second start. The car had also been the fastest in provisional qualifying on Wednesday when driven by Terry Borcheller, but Gavin's lap was faster and made him the official fast qualifier. Team owner Franz Konrad will be the third driver in Saturday's race. Sascha Maassen of Germany retained the GT class pole position he had provisionally won on Wednesday, despite not participating in Thursday's session. His lap of 105.078 mph (2:06.763), a track record for the GT class, was not beaten in Thursday's session. Maassen's team elected to not run in the session due to the high temperatures.

-ALMS

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Series ALMS
Drivers Franz Konrad , Frank Biela , Laurent Aiello , Sascha Maassen , Oliver Gavin , Michele Alboreto , Emanuele Pirro