Sebring: Wednesday notes

IMSA CONFIRMS PROTEST BY ASTON MARTIN RACING IMSA confirmed that Aston Martin is protesting the "validity of an entry" (i.e. -the No. 35 Maserati MC12). The protest was received by Race Director Marty Kauffman at the end of the business day ...


IMSA confirmed that Aston Martin is protesting the "validity of an entry" (i.e. -the No. 35 Maserati MC12). The protest was received by Race Director Marty Kauffman at the end of the business day Tuesday. The stewards first will determine if the matter is protestable and has been filed correctly and timely. Should the stewards determine that the matter is protestable and correct in its form, they then will determine a time and place for the protest hearing. IMSA rules state that the stewards have until the end of the event or business day following the protest hearing to issue their decision (which should be no later than end of day Thursday).

The rules for protest can be found in Article 9 of the IMSA code, which can be found at The stewards or IMSA cannot comment about the specifics of the protest until after a decision is reached.


The American Le Mans Series conducted a series of press briefings Wednesday. In light of the above protest, the most spirited session contained the heads of racing for Corvette Racing (Doug Fehan), Prodrives' (David Richards), Maserati Corse (Claudio Berro), Ferrari's Care Racing-Larbre (Jack LeConte), and Dodge Viper's Carsport Racing (Tom Weickhardt).

RICHARDS: "This is not directed at a manufacturer. It is about the protocol in which we go forward in this sport. It's our belief at Aston Martin that we have invested a lot to come here and build the cars and look toward the future of GT1. Today's press conference focusing on the competitiveness of this class is indicative of the interest in GT1. It is very clear that regulations be strictly adhered to because if we keep issuing waivers for different manufacturers, we'll never have stability in the sport. It's very important to establish that from the outset. We welcome the competition, but only on an equal basis. Unless we get stability, we won't attract new manufacturers."

BERRO: "We received an invitation from IMSA to race and we accepted it. The ACO and FIA recently came together for the same rules and regulations and we comply within the FIA regulations. The ACO says there is a 66mm difference between GT1 cars and our car and seven to 10 kilos. We are not concerned about the protest. We will respect IMSA's decision.

FEHAN: "At Corvette and General Motors, we've made it clear to the sanctioning body how important a stable rules base is. I think we've been consoled by them and assured by them that they are going to closely monitor Maserati's performance. The Maserati can't win points until they enter a legal car. Our business plan is to achieve a manufacturers' championship, and we understand the position of the series. I think we have a high level of understanding about why it is. We have a huge contingent of fans. They want to see us race whoever comes along, no matter how hard it is."

In a less-spirited moment, LeConte pointed out that this is his fourth trip to Sebring, all in different cars - Porsche in 2000, Viper in 2002, a Panoz in 2004, and this year with a Ferrari.


Dyson Racing set the standard in afternoon practice, posting a run of 120.817 mph and a lap time of 1:50.249, eclipsing the No. 1 and No. 2 ADT Champion Audi R8s. Earlier in the day during the morning practice session, both Audis fared better than the Dyson team piloted by Chris Dyson and Guy Smith, who drove the fastest lap in the afternoon.

The fastest LMP2 time in the afternoon was a 1:51.752 lap (119.192 mph) posted by Jon Field, Duncan Dayton and Gregor Fisken in Telesis Intersport Racing's Lola B05/40. The fastest GT1 in the afternoon was the No. 4 Corvette Racing C6-R of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen with a time of 1:57.347 (113.510 mph), surpassing the morning run of the No. 3 Corvette C6-R at 1:57.686 (113.183 mph).

In the GT2 class, the morning run of Patrick Long, Jorg Bergmeister and Lucas Luhr guided the No. 31 Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to a round of 2:04.960 (106.954 mph), faster than the quickest GT2 afternoon lap set by the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, and Sascha Maassen at 2:05.078 (106.494 mph).


There were only two incidents at the track on Wednesday. In the morning practice session, Tom Weickardt damaged the left front end of the No. 71 Dodge Viper. In the afternoon session, Ian Mitchell spun out in a braking incident in the No.27 Kruse Motorsport Courage.


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Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Guy Smith , Jon Field , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Patrick Long , Romain Dumas , Gregor Fisken , Tom Weickardt , Olivier Beretta , Ian Mitchell , David Richards , Alex Job
Teams Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing