It’s All Audi In Sebring Drills

The No. 2 Audi during practice Thursday night at Sebring Int'l Raceway. (ALMS photo)
The No. 2 Audi during practice Thursday night at Sebring Int’l Raceway. (ALMS photo)

SEBRING, Fla. — For the third time in three Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida practice sessions on Thursday, Audi Sport Team Joest found its way to the top of the time charts in night practice.

Six-time Sebring overall winner Tom Kristensen took the honors in the darkness, pushing the No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro to a best lap at 1:46.660 (126.233 mph). Kristensen – who shares the ride with four-time Sebring champ Allan McNish and Lucas di Grassi – was 0.026 seconds quicker than teammate Benoit Treluyer in the No. 1 Audi.

Treluyer – who co-drives with Marcel Fassler and Oliver Jarvis – logged a best time of 1:46.686 (126.202 mph). Third overall and in the P1 category was Lucas Luhr in the Honda-powered No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c. Luhr was slightly more than eight tenths of a second off the lead at 1:47.483 (125.266 mph) in the car he shares with Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas.

The top time in P2 went to Ryan Briscoe in the No. 551 Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b with a lap of 1:52.138 (120.066 mph). Briscoe’s co-drivers are Marino Franchitti and Scott Tucker, who is also entered to co-drive the team’s No. 552 HPD ARX-03b with IndyCar drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud. Hunter-Reay owned the second-fastest P2 time of night practice at 1:52.735 (119.431 mph). David Brabham was third in P2 at 1:53.133 (119.010 mph) in the No. 01 HPD ARX-03b for Extreme Speed Motorsports. Brabham’s ESM teammates are Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo.

A close GT battle saw the top four cars covered by less than half a second, with defending ALMS GT champion Oliver Gavin leading the way in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. Gavin’s best lap was a 2:00.282 (111.937 mph) in the machine he is sharing with Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook.

Jordan Taylor was second in class in the No. 3 Corvette at 2:00.406 (111.822 mph) he will co-drive on Saturday with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. Third in GT went to Olivier Beretta in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia at 2:00.736 (111.516 mph). Beretta’s co-drivers are Italian countrymen Gianmaria Bruni and Matteo Malucelli.

David Ostella paced the Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire with a lap of 1:55.662 (116.408 mph) in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09 he shares with David Cheng and Mike Guasch. Pierre Kaffer was second in PC aboard the No. 81 DragonSpeed Mishumotors entry at 1:56.467 (115.604 mph), followed by Colin Braun in the No. 05 CORE autosport machine at 1:56.656 (115.416 mph). Kaffer’s No. 81 co-drivers are Micro Schultis and Patrick Simon, while Braun is sharing the No. 05 with Jonathan Bennett and Mark Wilkins.

Spencer Pumpelly topped the charts in GT Challenge at 2:06.376 (106.539 mph) in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup he is sharing with Nelson Canache Jr. and Brian Wong. The second-quickest GTC lap went to Andy Lally in the No. 27 Dempsey Del Piero Racing Porsche at 2:06.570 (106.376 mph). Lally’s co-drivers are Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster. Jeroen Bleekemolen completed the GTC top three at 2:06.721 (106.249 mph) in the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche. Bleekemolen’s co-drivers are Cooper MacNeil and Dion von Moltke.