Sebring Winter test, day one report

Champion Racing leads the way in first day of testing Sebring, Fl. - The first of four days of exciting American Le Mans Series' testing at Sebring International Raceway has come to an end with representatives of all four ALMS classes joining in...

Champion Racing leads the way in first day of testing

Sebring, Fl. - The first of four days of exciting American Le Mans Series' testing at Sebring International Raceway has come to an end with representatives of all four ALMS classes joining in on the fun.

Champion Audi led the way with both entries posting incredibly fast unofficial test times. The team of Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro, and Allan McNish finished the day behind the wheel of the No. 2 Audi with a best lap time of 1:47.557, beating the qualifying record of 1:48.029 set by Frank Biela in 2002. The No. 1 Audi driven by JJ Lehto, Marco Werner, and Tom Kristensen set the second fastest time of the day with a fast lap of 1:48.073. Intersport Racing tested two cars today both driven by Jon and Clint Field. The team is experimenting with a Lola as well as a Riley Scott MK IIIC.

Last year's LMP2 Champions Miracle Motorsports ran its Courage C65 with drivers John Macaluso, Jeff Bucknum and Chris McMurry. The team utilized its new Kumho tires to post a time of 1:52.668 - just seconds off of the LMP1 times set by Champion Audi.

The ever-popular ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R driven by Terry Borcheller, Johnny Mowlem and Ralph Kelleners was true to form running a best lap of 1:57.931 on its maiden voyage with Michelin tires. Aston Martin, the most anticipated entry of 2005, set a time of 1:58.883 led by drivers David Brabham and Tomas Enge. Aston Martin will release its drivers for the second entry tomorrow.

The familiar BAM! Racing team represented the GT2 class of the ALMS with drivers Tony Burgess, Leo Hindery, and Mike Rockenfeller, setting a fast lap time of 2:06.626

- CARE RACING LARBRE COMPETITION TO ENTER FERRARI 550 MARANELLO AT SEBRING -

The sight and sound of an ALMS race-winning Ferrari Maranello will once again be seen and heard in North America, driven by three reigning Championship titleholders.

A collaboration between Care Racing Development, owners of one of the most successful GT cars in recent years, and Larbre Competition - GTS Champions in the 2004 Le Mans Endurance Series with the same car - will see a 6-litre, V12 Ferrari enter the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The Ferrari will be driven by an all-star champion lineup. Although the team has won championships and several races in the ALMS including Chevy presents Petit Le Mans, it has never won Sebring.

Frederic Dor of Care Racing explained why the Florida classic is so important. "Our cars have been enormously successful over the last three years, thanks to the professionalism and commitment of our partners in the different series."

"This is a very refined race car," said Jack Leconte of Larbre Competition. "Whether you are talking about the aerodynamics or suspension, the engine-gearbox unit or the transmission, everything is spot-on and perfectly reliable. Christopher Bouchut (LMES GTS Champion) will be with us once again and he will be partnered with Fabrizio Gollin (FIA GT Champion) who brings with him so much experience of this car from his years with BMS Scuderia Italia. I am also very pleased to say that Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car World Series Champion) will join us, which is very exciting news for the series and fans alike. Sabastien's hometown is Le Mans so he has sports car blood in his veins. I think he will have no trouble adapting to the car in a very short time and we will have a really magnificent driving team."

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be Bourdais first ALMS experience in world-class sports car racing. The Ferrari Maranello that he will be driving was part of the Care Racing team that won four consecutive events to close the 2003 ALMS season. The Ferrari Maranello will be a major challenger to Corvette Racing, which won all nine GT1 events in the ALMS in 2004.

-alms-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Tomas Enge , Fabrizio Gollin , David Brabham , Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Tony Burgess , Leo Hindery , Sébastien Bourdais , John Macaluso , Marco Werner , Clint Field , Chris McMurry , Jeff Bucknum , Johnny Mowlem , Frederic Dor , Mike Rockenfeller , Jack Leconte , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing , Larbre Competition