Sebring 12 Hours: Audi dominates opening hour
|By Gary Watkins||Saturday, March 16th 2013, 16:30 GMT|
The two Audi R18s headed the leaderboard at the end of the opening hour of the Sebring 12 Hours.
Benoit Treluyer led team-mate Tom Kristensen by 17 seconds on the 60-minute mark after forgoing new tyres at the first round of pitstops.
Treluyer, who shares the 2012-spec R18 e-tron quattro with Marcel Fassler and Oliver Jarvis, converted pole position into a race lead that grew to as much as seven seconds before the pitstop.
The gap to his team-mate then extended to 24s after Kristensen was given a new set of Michelins unlike his team-mate.
Third place was held by the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c driven by Klaus Graf, which was more than a minute and a half behind the leader.
The HPD led the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota B12/60s, driven by Nick Heidfeld and Andrea Belicchi, in the privateer LMP1 battle.
LMP2 was headed by IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in the best of the Level 5 Motorsports HPDs ahead of Tom Kimber-Smith in the Greaves team's Zytek-Nisan Z11SN.
The GT class was led on the top of the hour by Leh Keen in the Alex Job Racing Ferrari 458 Italia, which pitted at the end of that lap.
The true leader was the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6-R in which Oliver Gavin had raced away form the field during the opening laps before handing over to Tommy Milner.
Second place was held by Marco Holzer in the Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3-RSR, which was running out of sequence following an early unscheduled stop with a tyre vibration.