Sebring: VICI Racing qualifying report

VICI RACING AND KUMHO TIRE IN TOP SHAPE AFTER QUALIFYING VICI Racing and Kumho Tire completed the American Le Mans Series official qualifying session this afternoon at a warm and sunny Sebring with a solid performance and in excellent shape...

VICI RACING AND KUMHO TIRE IN TOP SHAPE AFTER QUALIFYING

VICI Racing and Kumho Tire completed the American Le Mans Series official qualifying session this afternoon at a warm and sunny Sebring with a solid performance and in excellent shape for Saturday's gruelling 12 hour race. However with all qualifying times negated due to an abrupt end of qualifying for the prototype class, the rules state that the times from the fastest practice session should be used and that fell to this morning's run.

It all means that the #5 VICI Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR will start from eighth place on the GT2 grid tomorrow, after German sportscar veteran and former winner of the Twelve Hours of Sebring, Uwe Alzen, turned in a 2:03.861 lap this morning. It was a performance that has satisfied the team and is an excellent reward after much hard work.

Today was the third day of track action for VICI Racing at Sebring this week, the latest step in a development program that has been put together in rapid time by VICI Racing and Kumho Tire. The ambitious program centres on developing new tire compounds for the ALMS GT2 class this year and after two brief tests the team arrived in Sebring at the beginning of the week; and taking to the 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course for the first time on Tuesday during private testing. The test schedule continued yesterday during the two official ALMS sessions with a further practice being held this morning ahead of the controversial qualifying run this afternoon. In the later abandoned qualifying session after Uwe posted a best time of 2:04.235 during the 25 minute run.

Uwe, together with team mates Nathan Swartzbaugh and Craig Stanton, have shared testing duties over the last three days as the team worked through a hectic tire development schedule, as well as building towards the 12-hour race.

Uwe Alzen says: "We've made significant progress all week and I'm satisfied that we can run a strong race on Saturday. I have enjoyed many great races on this track, its highly demanding but at the same time very rewarding; and I look forward to a good race."

Nathan Swartzbaugh says: "It's great to be working with Ron Meixner and VICI Racing again after my successful year with them in the IMSA GT3 Cup three seasons ago. The new RSR is a superb machine and I'm really enjoying driving it out on track; this is a tough circuit but one that I love and as we seem to be in good shape for the 12 hour race I can't wait for the green flag to drop."

Craig Stanton says: "We have got through a lot of work during the week and the technical guys seem pretty happy with the progress we have made. Kumho seem to be up to speed in what is needed to develop a tire that will get us into the thick of the action so I have only positives to report. I have raced with Nathan before so I know he is quick and having Uwe in the car is a bonus."

Roland Wall, Technical Director & Chief Engineer says: "This week has gone very well, we're making a lot of progress session-by-session and I think we are in great shape for the race. The Kumho guys are working very hard and we are all pulling in the right direction. We didn't focus on a qualifying time as we wanted to preserve the tires for the start of the race so Uwe was restricted in his times. We will work towards the race now and will continue our development schedule during tomorrow's final session."

Tim Bumps, Team Manager, says: "I'm very satisfied with how the week is unfolding. It has been a big task to bring this program to fruition in such a short time and that everything is going so smoothly is a testimony to the dedication and professionalism of all the members of the team, many who have been integrated this week. Everyone's pulling together very well and it bodes well for a successful race."

The American Le Mans Series kicks off the season with the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The longest and toughest race of the year, it presents the greatest challenge for drivers and teams. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be telecast on Saturday, March 15, live on SPEED TV, starting at 9:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time (the green flag drops shortly after 10:00 AM EDT). Live radio broadcasting, plus live scoring and pit notes, are available at www.americanlemans.com.

-credit: vici

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Uwe Alzen , Craig Stanton , Nathan Swartzbaugh