American Le Mans Series (ALMS) press release
Dumas Fastest in Opening Sebring Practice for Audi
62 cars set times in busy one-hour session
Romain Dumas got Audi Sport Team Joest started on the right foot in official practice for the 60tth Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. The Frenchman set the fastest time in Thursday’s one-hour session with a lap of 1:48.626 in his Audi R18.
Audi enters Sebring seeking its first victory in America’s greatest sports car race since 2009. Winning would be double-special as the 12 Hours serves as the opening round of both the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Dumas’ Audi was 1.136 seconds clear of Klaus Graf in Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s HPD ARX-03a. The quickest of the ALMS regulars had a 0.351-second advantage over the Audi of Marcel Fassler.
Level 5 Motorsports’ Joao Barbosa was the fastest driver in P2. His lap of 1:52.680 in his HPD ARX-03b put him 0.404 seconds ahead of John Martin in the ADR-Delta’s ORECA 03-Nissan prototype. Next up was Luis Diaz in the second Level 5 HPD at 1:53.664.
ALMS teams held the top two spots in GT with Oliver Gavin’s Corvette C6.R setting the fastest lap at 2:01.154. The Corvette Racing veteran was just 0.009 seconds ahead of BMW Team RLL newcomer Jonathan Summerton in his BMW M3 GT. Toni Vilander sat third for AF Corse with a lap of 2:01.610 in his Ferrari F430 GT.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Memo Gidley was the fastest driver in Prototype Challenge after a lap of 1:55.881 in the team’s ORECA FLM09. Alex Popow had the second-fastest lap at 1:56.018 in CORE autosport’s prototype; he was about 0.7 seconds ahead of Performance Tech’s Ricardo Vera.
Dominik Farnbacher set the pace in GTE Am. His lap of 2:02.988 in Luxury Racing’s Ferrari F430 GT was good enough for a 0.524-second gap back to Paolo Ruberti in Team Felbermayr Proton’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
In GT Challenge, Leh Keen set the fastest time for Alex Job Racing at 2:07.308. His Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was 0.315 seconds clear of NGT Motorsport’s Henrique Cisneros.
The day’s second practice session is set for 2:50 p.m. ET.