With a awesome victory, Audi returned this year to the world famous Sebring International Raceway for the very first time since 2009 on Sat., March 17th, 2012. This 60th Anniversary for Mobil 1’s famous event, “Twelve Hours of Sebring” was backed in full by Powered by Fresh from Florida. Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish all finished the 301 laps, all driving their Audi R18’s and winning by an overall 4 laps. This was all accomplished in the very first race of the American Le Mans Series. Once again, this ALMS race was shown by the world known Tequila Patron and The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Endurance Championship.
In the world of profesional racing, the Sebring challange is of one the most challenging for drivers and race teams. Most view this evet as an essantial opportunity to compete before to the most highly regarded endrance race event(24 hours at Le Mans) in the FIA series planned in May of 2012. Here nearly all of the FIA racing teams race in preperation for the top motorsport endurance event with the “12 hours of Sebring”, which presents an awesome”measure” for race team owners to polish the fine points of the pit crew and thier high tech race cars.
To many race fans delight, Audi placed first and second place at Sebring for the 1st time since 2005. Kristensen advances his career advancing his Sebring record, being 6th in to finish. Capello is a 5 time champion and McNish is a four time winner. Kristensen, Capello and McNish all controlled the second half the event. They overcame serious obstacles with their gearboxes. The motorsports fans was stupefied with Audi’s performance and ranking. The second place R18 suffered from contact with a slower auto in the last hour of the race.
Dyson Racing took full benefit of the fuel management issues for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and won the ALMS ‘ P1 class. Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Steven Kane held on to the lead with approximately 30 minutes to finish. Last year’s P1 team championship was Dyson Racing, while Dyson and Smith also claimed the driving championship.
Saturday’s victory was within one week of testing the new Lola-Mazda. The Muscle Milk’s crew was torn apart in their last hour about their fuel managment. Klaus Graf, Lucas Luhr and Simon Pagenaud seemed to be in the running for most of the 2nd half in their HPD ARX-03a prototype.
The two P1 winners continued on thru a race which started with 62 vehicles and had 51 cars running at the end. This race was more about patience and opportunity with definitely some luck.
With the absence of Peugeot from this seanons race at Sebring, Team Audi ruled the twelve hour endurnace event throughout the day. We would like to see the French return next year but Audi would rather view them from the rear view mirror.
Jack Sneed has been a writter in the automobile and motorsport industry for over 20 years and now contribute articles at Redline Review. Check out the latest ALMS racing news, videos and photograph galleries by Jack Sneed.