Sebring qualifying report

After setting the fastest time in qualifying yesterday, Audi star Emanuele Pirro confirmed his speed in today's final session, earning pole position for Saturday's 12 Hours of Sebring. Pirro recorded a time of 1:49.110, eclipsing team-mate Dindo...

After setting the fastest time in qualifying yesterday, Audi star Emanuele Pirro confirmed his speed in today's final session, earning pole position for Saturday's 12 Hours of Sebring.

Pirro recorded a time of 1:49.110, eclipsing team-mate Dindo Capello who was second fastest.

The pole position is actually Pirro's first in the American Le Mans Series and places himself and team-mates Frank Biela and Tom Kristensen in an ideal position to repeat their victory from last year.

Kristensen will actually be aiming for his third successive win - having previously taken victory for BMW in 1999 as well as for Audi last year.

"I was reminded by the team that I never had made the pole before, but it doesn't really count for this kind of race because it is so long. However, it is a confirmation of certain potential," Pirro said.

"We're going to rotate the drivers differently for this race. We've decided to split it in threes - one qualifies, one starts and one takes the checkered flag.

The U.S. based Champion team Audi was third fastest ahead of the European based Stefan Johansson outfit - also equiped with the dominant Audi R8.

Aussie hero David Brabham's dramas continued. Despite improving his time today, the Brabham/Jan Magnussen car dropped a spot to qualify in 6th place.

"The car is still very hard to drive here at the moment, but we will try some further changes in night practice this evening," Brabham said.

"It is a bit frustrating at the moment, but we are working with a brand new car and it is always tough in the initial stages. Everybody is working extremely hard and we will just have to put our heads down in the race and push on.

"Twelve hours around Sebring is just as tough as 24 at Le Mans - it will be a great test for the car."

The Lola of John Field, Duncan Dayton and Rick Sutherland will start in position five, ahead of Brabham.

Englishman Oliver Gavin recorded the first ever pole position in the GTS division for the Saleen marque, beating out the Corvette of Ron Fellows.

Gavin will drive with German Franz Konrad and U.S. driver, Terry Borcheller. Sascha Maassen's new GT qualifying record was not beaten today, with the Porsche driver actually sitting out today's second qualifying run.

The Porsche driver has held off the expected challenge from the factory BMW cars which qualified 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th.

Saturday's 12 Hours of Sebring kicks off at 10.40am

-Paul Ryan

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , David Brabham , Stefan Johansson , Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Franz Konrad , Frank Biela , Ron Fellows , Sascha Maassen , Terry Borcheller , Oliver Gavin , Ryan Paul , Rick Sutherland , Dindo Capello