Audi to start on pole at Sebring

Audi has made a strong start to its 2000 American Le Mans Series campaign, after snatching the first two spots on the grid for this weekend's opening round in Sebring.

Audi to start on pole at Sebring

Two Audis will start on the front row for the 12-hour Florida enduro, followed by two Panoz LMP-1s and BMW's V12 LMRs.

Frank Biela took pole in his Audi R8 in the second qualifying session held on Thursday afternoon. He posted the fastest time of 1.48.825.

Biela was followed by fellow Audi driver, Rinaldo Capello, who claimed second place on the grid with a 1.49.591.

"It was simply perfect," Biela said after the session, "now I'm really relieved. Of course 12 hours is a long time and anything can happen. But now our chances are very good."

Panoz Motorsport's two LMP-1s qualified third and fourth, after setting times in the first session.

The #1 car of Brabham, Magnussen and Raphanel will start in third place, while O'Connell, Katoh and Graf will start from fourth.

"Today, we took the decision to miss qualifying and concentrate on the race," said Brabham. "We need to get things in order for the race. I'm really looking forward to it."

BMW's JJ Lehto and Dirk Muller will begin fifth, while Auberlen, Gounon and Soper will start from sixth.

"The time could have been better," Lehto said afterwards. "But I nearly the lost the car in the first lap at the first corner, when I got on the grass. Of course the tyres were not as good as they were supposed to be for my second lap."

Cadillac, which is holding a special one-hour night session on Thursday evening, qualified 10th and 11th.

The Corvette of Fellows, Kniefel and Bell was the fastest GTS qualifier with a 1.59.646, while Muller and Luhr were the highest GT qualifiers, with a 2.07.064, which secured them 25th.

1 Biela/Kristensen/Pirro Audi Sport/Audi R8 1.48.825


2 Alboreto/Capello/McNish Audi Sport/Audi R8 1.49.591


3 Brabham/Magnussen/Raphanel Panoz Motorsport/Panoz LMP-1 1.49.716


4 O'Connell/Katoh/Graf Panoz Motorsport/Panoz LMP-1 1.50.147


5 Lehto/Muller BMW Motorsport/BMW V12 LMR 1.50.491


6 Auberlen/Gounon/Soper BMW Motorsport/BMW V12 LMR 1.50.940


7 Schiatt/Martini/Radigues Olive-Garden Rafanelli Lola B2K 1.51.542


8 Bleininger/Simon/Simo Pole-Team Riley & Scott 1.51.882


9 Lienhard/Theys/Baldi Doran/Lister Racing 1.52.632


10 Lagorce/Leitzinger/Wallace Team Cadillac/ Cadillac LMP 1.52.754


11 Taylor/Angelelli/Poele Team Cadillac/ Cadillac LMP 1.53.441


12 Bernard/Collard/Tinseau Team Cadillac/Cadillac LMP 1.53.850


13 Johansson/Smith/Matthews Johansson-Matthews/Reynard 1.54.036


14 Maxwell/Graham/Empringham Multimatic Motorsport/Lola B98 1.55.152


15 Robinson/Baldwin/Hoerr Robinson Racing/Reynard 1.55.222


16 Field/Whitting/Whitting Banana Joe's/Lola B98 1.55.634


17 Schroeder/Kelleners/Weaver Champion Racing/Lola B2K 1.57.295


18 Fellows/Kniefel/Bell Corvette Racing/Chevy Corvette 1.59.646


19 Beretta/Wendlinger/Dupuy Viper Team Oreca 1.59.818


20 Amorim/Belloc/Beltoise Viper Team Oreca 2.00.356


21 Archer/Duez/Donohue Viper Team Oreca 2.00.623


22 Pilgrim/Collins/Freon Corvette Racing 2.00.849


23 Hurtgen/Haupt/Rice Roock Motosport/Porsche 911T 2.05.360


24 Konrad/Slater/Paul Konrad Motorsport/Porsche 911 2.06.424


25 Muller/Luhr Dick Barbour Racing/Porsche 911 2.07.064


26 Brown/Earle/Jurasz Roock Motosport/Porsche 911T 2.07.189


27 Lambert/Pobst/Conte Alex Job Racing/ Porsche 911 2.07.205


28 Wollek/Maasen Dick Barbour Racing/Porsche 911 2.07.350


29 Peter/Quester/Riccitelli RWS Motorsport/Porsche 911 2.08.387


30 Cunningham/Cunningham/Law Prototype Technology Group/BMW E36 M3 2.08.736


31 Murry/Mowlem Skea Racing/Porsche 911 2.09.230


32 Cruchet/Zadra/Bouchut Team LR Organisation/Porsche 911 2.09.488


33 Said/Stuck/Overbeek Prototype Technology Group/BMW E36 M3 2.10.272


34 Reiser/Haywood/Stanton Reiser Callas Rennsport LLC/Porsche 911 2.10.293


35 Wagner/Lewis/Mazzuoccola MCR/Aspen Knolls 2.10.891


36 Buckler/Fitzgerald/Nagel The Racers Group/Porsche 911 2.11.190


37 Jeanette/Lauer/McLeod White Lightning Racing/Porsche 911 2.12.242


38 Hindery/Kester/Baron MCR/Nygmatech/Porsche 911 2.12.285


39 Burgess/Mathewson/Collin Seikel Motorsport/Porsche 911 2.13.787


40 McCormick/Wattles/Dullum MCR/Nygmatech/Porsche 911 2.14.394


41 Skea/Hawkins/Willingham Skea Racing/Porsche 911 2.15.465


42 Robertson/Barbosa/James MCR/Nygmatech/Porsche 911 4.06.825

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