Sebring: Series Thursday night practice report

MONTAGNY QUICKEST IN SEBRING DARKNESS, DAMPNESS Peugeot's Franck Montagny set the fastest time in the annual Thursday night practice for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, a 1:45.920 (125.755 mph) lap...

MONTAGNY QUICKEST IN SEBRING DARKNESS, DAMPNESS

Peugeot's Franck Montagny set the fastest time in the annual Thursday night practice for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, a 1:45.920 (125.755 mph) lap around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit in one of the two diesel-powered 908 HDis.

The Frenchman, driving with fellow countrymen Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Bourdais was barely ahead of Allan McNish, Audi Sport's Scottish superstar. Driving the brand new R15 TDI, McNish was just 0.073 seconds behind Montagny.

Times were slower than normal at the start following a late afternoon shower that soaked the circuit an hour before the session. Standing water remained on parts of the circuit at the start with the track staying slightly damp in the later periods.

McNish is driving with Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen as the trio looks to win at Sebring after taking victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2008. The second Peugeot of Christian Klien, who is driving with Pedro Lamy and Nic Minassian, was third.

The pole-sitting de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a was fourth overall.

In LMP2, Chris Dyson was the fastest driver of the session. He turned a lap of 1:59.032 (111.903 mph) in one of the team's new Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupes. He was well ahead of the P2 pole-winning Acura of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz along with the sister Dyson Lola-Mazda of Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti and Ben Devlin.

All-time Sebring victory leader Johnny O'Connell was the fastest GT1 driver in the final night practice for the Corvette C6.R GT1 car. O'Connell posted a time of 2:01.296 (109.814 mph) in the car that he will share with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia to outpace the sister entry.

The second 'Vette of Olivier Beretta, pole-winner Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler managed a best lap of 2:15.046 (98.633 mph).

In GT2, Gianmaria Bruni continued the impressive showing for Advanced Engineering Pecom Racing and its Ferrari F430 GT. Bruni, in his second straight Sebring 12 Hours, turned in a lap of 2:04.232 (107.219 mph) to outpace Risi Competizione's Ferrari of Pierre Kaffer and Mika Salo by 0.754 seconds.

The lead Flying Lizard Motorsports entry of Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marc Lieb was the quickest Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at 2:05.464 (106.166 mph).

The final official practice session is scheduled for 9:55 a.m. ET on Friday.

-credit: alms

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni , Antonio Garcia , Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Franck Montagny , Mika Salo , Johnny O'Connell , Pedro Lamy , Ben Devlin , Luis Diaz , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , Sébastien Bourdais , Patrick Long , Marino Franchitti , Marc Lieb , Olivier Beretta , Christian Klien , Pierre Kaffer , Chris Dyson , Dindo Capello
Teams Pecom Racing , Risi Competizione , Flying Lizard Motorsports