Audi 1-2 in Sebring Thursday morning practice

March 17, 2011

Audi 1-2 in Sebring Thursday morning practice

March 17, 2011

Romain Dumas, No. 1 Audi R15 TDI, led the Thursday morning practice session. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

The first official practice session for the opening round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup seasons is now in the books. Times remained slower than the unofficial benchmarks set in testing earlier this week at Sebring International Raceway.

Audi set the pace in LMP1, finishing in first and second overall. Romain Dumas blitzed the time sheets as the only driver under 1:50, stopping the clocks at 1:49.253 in the No. 1 Audi R15 TDI. Allan McNish set the fastest time of the trio in the second car, nearly eight full tenths of a second adrift at 1:50.037.

Nicolas Lapierre piloted Oreca’s Peugeot 908 HDi FAP to third on his final lap, fastest of the three “French lions,” ahead of Lucas Luhr in the Muscle Milk Aston Martin Lola coupe and Franck Montagny in the first of the new factory Peugeot 908s. The Muscle Milk AMR car, though, was reported to have smoke out the back of the car at the end of the session, and was carried away on a flatbed.

In GT, Toni Vilander took Risi Competizione’s new Ferrari F458 Italia to the top of the field at 2:02.251, ahead of the two BMW M3s, Antonio Garcia in the first of the factory Corvette Racing Corvette ZR1s and Giancarlo Fisichella in the AF Corse Ferrari F430 GT.

Other class leaders from Thursday morning’s practice:
• LMP2: No. 26 Signatech Oreca 03 Nissan (1:57.991)
• LMPC: No. 052 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 (1:56.716)
• GTE AM: No. 63 Proton Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (2:04.305)
• GTC: No. 023 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup (2:07.155)

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