Peugeot fastest in Sebring practice

The #8 Peugeot set the pace in the first official practice sessions for the Sebring 12 Hours, but its sister car had to sit out the opening day due to a cracked tub

Peugeot fastest in Sebring practice

Nicolas Minassian, Pedro Lamy and Christian Klien's #7 car had been quickest in final testing on Tuesday, only for the crack to be discovered during a routine inspection that night. The team is investigating its options for either repairing or replacing the chassis.

Having missed much of the final test day after Sebastien Bourdais crashed, the #8 Peugeot crew bounced back today as Bourdais' team-mates Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin topped a practice session each.

Montagny's morning lap of 1m45.159s put him half a second ahead of the two Audis, and one second clear of the Highcroft Acura in fourth place.

Sarrazin then improved to a 1m44.719s in the afternoon, 0.2 seconds quicker than the Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello Audi.

Mike Rockenfeller, Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner were third in the second R15, with De Ferran Motorsports taking top Acura honours in practice two.

IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, who is joining De Ferran for the longer races this year, reckons Acura is losing out on the straights.

"We just don't have the straightaway speed right now," he said. "The car is extremely fast in the corners. Faster than anything I have driven on a road circuit. The downforce is remarkable.

"But this is a new programme and it takes time to get up to the speed of Peugeot and Audi. I think we are getting better every session here at Sebring."

Dyson Racing was again only able to run one of its two cars while waiting for parts to complete its second Lola-Mazda, but Andy Lally, Guy Smith and Chris Dyson were still able to beat the Fernandez Acura to the fastest time in LMP2 in both sessions.

In GT2, Gianmaria Bruni continued Advanced Engineering's excellent run by setting the morning pace ahead of the Farnbacher Loles Porsche, as the two Rahal Letterman BMWs impressed with third and fourth places, 0.8s slower than Bruni, and ahead of the Risi Ferrari.

But the series regulars fought back in the afternoon, with Dirk Werner fastest for Farnbacher Loles, ahead of the Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marc Lieb Flying Lizard Porsche. The Risi car pushed Advanced Engineering back to fourth in class.

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Peugeot tops Sebring test day two

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Series General
Author Matt Beer
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