Theys Qualifies Eighth in Class Thursday Afternoon in the Doran-Lista Dallara MG ...
Theys Qualifies Eighth in Class Thursday Afternoon in the Doran-Lista Dallara MG #227.
SEBRING, Fla., March 13 - Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz., qualified eighth in the LMP900 class and eleventh overall Thursday afternoon for Saturday's Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway. Behind the wheel of the Doran-Lista Dallara MG #27, his fastest lap around the 3.7-mile road course in the 25-minute qualifying session was done in 1:53.054 for an average speed of 117.820 mph. His best lap was his eighth of 10 circuits.
His co-drivers in Saturday's race will be Fredy Lienhard Sr. of Niederteufen, Switzerland and Eric van de Poele of St. Jean-Geest, Belgium. Theys and team owner Kevin Doran won this race in 1998, and van de Poele won here in 1996 and 1995. The latter also won his class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, 2001 and 2002.
"The balance is decent but I'm sliding around too much," Theys said immediately after climbing out of the car after qualifications. "We tried to catch up with the race track, but we're not there yet. It has nothing to do with the tires; our Michelin tires are great. It's just our set-up. We're just lacking grip. We'll work on it more each session; we have tonight and tomorrow's sessions yet."
Yesterday Lienhard was involved in an accident during practice. He wasn't hurt, and the Doran-Lista team worked hard to quickly make repairs.
"It wasn't bad, really," said team owner Kevin Doran.
"I haven't driven in half a year, but it's coming back to me," Lienhard said later that day. "I will leave the set-up to the professionals. But I am starting to feel more comfortable in the car now."
There is a practice session tonight at 8 p.m. and two tomorrow: one at 9:35 a.m. and the other at 6:15 p.m.
On Saturday there is a warm-up session at 7:30 a.m., and the race starts at 10:30 a.m.
On Wednesday there were two practice sessions; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There was also one morning practice session Thursday.
The team's best laps in those three sessions were a 2:05.514 followed by a 1:54.891 and a 1:53.980, so it has been consistently getting faster.
The 51st edition of this once-around-the-clock race will be televised live and non-stop on SPEED Channel in America beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern time Saturday and concluding at 11 p.m. that night. It will be shown on Eurosport on a tape-delay basis at 20:00 Central European time on March 23. Coverage can also be heard live on the American Le Mans Series Radio Web at www.americanlemans.com.