SEBRING, Fla. – With years of Audi history on hand this weekend at Sebring Int’l Raceway, Marcel Fassler proved why Audi continues to press the future in sports car endurance racing.
A hybrid-powered prototype is on pole position for the first time in the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Marcel Fassler set a track record with a 1:43.886 (129.604 mph) in Audi Sport Team Joest’s No. 1 Audi R8 e-tron quattro.
The pole position also is the first for a hybrid car in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, which opens its season Saturday at Sebring. Fassler was only .009 second clear of Allan McNish in the No. 2 Audi. Both cars were under the existing track record set in 2007.
“It was a really tight battle for the pole,” said Fassler, who will drive with Benoit Treluyer and Oliver Jarvis. “My car was already really great yesterday so I knew I could do it. As everyone knows, it not easy to go for pole at this track. It is bumpy and easy to make a lot of mistakes, so the key is make as few as possible.”
Audi is looking for its 11th victory at Sebring since 2000. It became the first manufacturer to win a major sports car race with diesel power in 2006, and last season it became the first to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with a hybrid prototype.
Nick Heidfeld was third for Rebellion Racing at 1:46.456 (126.475 mph) in the No. 13 Lola-Toyota.