Sebring: Champion Racing qualifying report

Team ADT Champion Audi starts the 51st 12 Hours of Sebring from the second row of the 57-car grid. 2000 Sebring race winner Emanuele Pirro set the fourth fastest time in the 25-minute qualifying session today (THURSDAY) driving the 2002-spec ...

Team ADT Champion Audi starts the 51st 12 Hours of Sebring from the second row of the 57-car grid.

2000 Sebring race winner Emanuele Pirro set the fourth fastest time in the 25-minute qualifying session today (THURSDAY) driving the 2002-spec ADT Champion Audi R8.

"In terms of qualifying, I'm a little disappointed only to be fourth on the grid but for the race, I believe we have a very good set-up," commented 2001 American Le Mans Series champion Pirro.

"I'm very optimistic we will have a good race. This will be my first race for Champion and I'm determined that it's a good one."

JJ Lehto is also be experiencing his maiden American Le Mans Series race with the Florida-based Champion team in Saturday's event which starts at 10.30am. "Practice this week has gone well. All three drivers like the same set-up which is very important so we don't make compromises.

"I think I have a good chance of repeating my 1999 Sebring victory but the competition is tough. Not only from the other two Audis, but the two Bentleys and also the LMP675 Lolas are going to be strong. Stay out of trouble and being consistent is the key".

1984 & '97 Sebring winner Stefan Johansson is also optimistic that it will be third time lucky for Champion Racing who have finished third and second in the corresponding race over the past two years.

Stefan said: "Our car has been very good since we arrived last Friday -- I'm very happy with it. We've a decent balance and I believe we'll have a good race. I've got two good team-mates and the team has really gelled -- I'm very hopeful of a podium."

Brad Kettler, Champion Racing Technical Director:
"I'm satisfied with qualifying but I believe the race will better. The drivers are comfortable and the team are in excellent spirits and ready for a successful race - we're in a good position."

Team ADT Champion Racing - 2002-spec Audi R8 - Driver line-up: Stefan Johansson (46). Born: Vaxjo, Sweden. Lives: Indianapolis, US JJ Lehto (36). Born: Espoo, Finland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco. Emanuele Pirro (41). Born: Rome, Italy. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco / Rome.

-cr-

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Series ALMS , PWC
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto