Sebring: Team Ascari qualifying report

Sebring International Raceway, Florida& ...

Sebring International Raceway, Florida– 14th March 2002: Thursday afternoon brought disappointment to Team Ascari with the British team qualifying in 11th and 14th positions for Saturday's 50th running of America's oldest sportscar race, the Sebring 12 Hours. During the 25 minute qualifying session in blistering hot conditions Briton Ben Collins, in the No. 21 Ascari KZR1, completed one full speed lap before the oil pressure warning light came on and he wisely stopped at the pits. His lap time was 1m54.447s (116.386mph). Werner Lupberger, in the No. 19 Ascari KZR1, was able to complete his qualifying run to plan but was unhappy with the handling of the car which, unlike the sister car, sported the new front nose with moveable splitter. Werner recorded a time of 1m55.689s (115.136mph).

Ben Collins, driving Ascari KZR1-Judd No. 21 with Justin Wilson & Christian Vann
"The car felt really good but the tyres weren't fully up to temperature. On the second flying lap the oil light came on so I came in. I'm sure we could have gone faster."

Ian Dawson, Race Director, Team Ascari:
"We'll have to check out what the problem is with Ben's engine and work on the set-up with the No. 19 car. Although qualifying is over we still have plenty of time to improve the cars."

The Audi team, winners for the past two years, dominated the qualifying taking Pole Position and second place on the starting grid. The big surpirse of the day was the performance of Ulsterman Johnny Kane, who qualified the MG Lola EX257 third fastest. There will be a further practice session this evening in the dusk and dark and then a further hour on Friday. The 12 Hours of Sebring commences at 10.30am local time on Saturday and is expected to attract a record breaking crowd of over 120,000.

-ta-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Justin Wilson , Werner Lupberger , Ben Collins , Christian Vann