Sebring, Florida, 1:04 p.m. Audi Leads Sebring Classic into the Noon Hour The green flag dropped at 10:10 a.m. for the Superflo 12-Hours of Sebring. The Audi Sport R8's driven by Frank Biela, number 78 and Rinaldo Capello in number 77 assumed...
Sebring, Florida, 1:04 p.m. Audi Leads Sebring Classic into the Noon Hour
The green flag dropped at 10:10 a.m. for the Superflo 12-Hours of Sebring. The Audi Sport R8's driven by Frank Biela, number 78 and Rinaldo Capello in number 77 assumed the lead from the start.
The beginning moments find the drivers settling into a rhythm for the once around the clock affair. The drivers will rotate, sometimes doing more than an hour-and-a-half at a time, behind the wheel. The average speed for the 3.75-mile course for the Audi is over 120 m.p.h. The driver rotation is currently scheduled to be:
#78 Frank Biela Tom Kristensen Emanule Pirro
#77 Rinaldo Capello Michele Alboreto Allan McNish
The 42 car field with the three classes, Prototypes, GTS and GT, were strung out along the circuit after the first two laps. The difference in speed between the Prototypes and GTS cars is 21 m.p.h. with a lap time difference of some 10 seconds. The Prototype class is made up of the Audi, BMW, Porsche and Cadillac. The GTS class is the Corvettes, Vipers and Porsche 911T. The GT class is made up of the Porsche 911 and the BMW M3's.
On lap 26, at approximately 11:00 a.m., the Audi R8's pitted for a routine fuel stop. Continuing to lead into the second hour of this long event the Audi's are setting the pace.
The Audi R8 lap times have been averaging around 1:54, with the pace set to complete the 12-hour event on top.
With two hours complete the Frank Biela pitted and handed over the car to Tom Kristensen. The Audi crew fueled the car and put on four fresh Michelins. "The first laps were quite easy, the track was really clear. Then I had to work hard (through traffic). The car runs very well as I expected. I'm really optimistic, the car feels really good. Even at the end of my stint we had absolutely no problems with tires. Michelin has given us good rubber," exclaimed Biela.
On the following lap, Rinaldo Capello brought the number 78 Audi R8 in for fuel, tires and to hand over to Michele Alboreto. "The car is working really fine. Only at the beginning the car was sliding more than I expected because we had more fuel on board. But every lap things were getting better and I could set fast times," said Rinaldo Capello.