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

Cadillac break into top ten

Previous article

Cadillac break into top ten

Next article

Audi takes one-two at Sebring

Audi takes one-two at Sebring
Load comments
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

May 21, 2021
How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations Plus

How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations

Time in a thoroughbred racer leaves you searching for time in yourself, especially when the rewards for total commitment are so high, as our man discovered at Snetterton

Apr 28, 2021
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

Apr 8, 2021
Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers Plus

Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers

The convergence between the World Endurance Championship and IMSA over LMDh regulations offers a bright future for sportscar racing, but the imminent demise of IMSA's GT Le Mans class creates wider issues to which no catch-all solution exists

Feb 3, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Plus

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it

Jan 23, 2021