Saturday, March 15, 2014

TUSC: Mid-field starting positions for the Audi teams at Sebring

By Johan Laubscher

The 12 Hours of Sebring weekend is well underway. Three practice sessions were held on Thursday, followed by a fourth and final practice session and qualifying on Friday.

The Audi Sport customer racing contingent is represented by five Audi R8 LMS cars from four different teams in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Flying Lizard Motorsports has returned with their two-car Audi R8 LMS team. Their #35 R8 LMS is piloted by Seth Neiman, Dion von Moltke and Filipe Albuquerque and their second #45 R8 LMS by Nelson Canache Jr., Spencer Pumpelly, Alessandro Latif and Markus Winkelhock. Tim Pappas unfortunately suffered food poisoning earlier this week and will not be competing in the #45 machine, thus Alessandro Latif was moved from the #35 driving crew to aid the #45 entry.

One-car each is entered by GMG Racing, Fall-Line Motorsports and Paul Miller Racing. GMG Racing’s #32 Audi R8 LMS is driven by James Sofronas, Alex Welch and Marc Basseng. Fall-Line Motorsports’ R8 LMS has Christopher Mies, Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub behind the wheel and Paul Miller Racing has Bryce Miller, Christopher Haase and Matthew Bell.

The fourth and final practice session on Friday saw no Audis within the top ten of the GT Daytona class. The highest Audi runner was the #46 Fall-Line Motorsports R8 LMS in twelfth, ahead of the #48 Paul Miller Racing R8 LMS in thirteenth. The #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS was fifteenth. The remaining two Audis were outside of the top twenty, with the #32 GMG Racing machine in twenty-second and #35 Flying Lizard Motorsports in twenty-third. 

Qualifying was held later on Friday and concluded in a similar fashion for the Audi teams. The Audi R8 LMS cars were again relegated to the mid-field positions. GMG Racing’s Audi R8 LMS proved to be the fastest Audi by taking sixteenth place within the GT Daytona class. The #48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS grabbed eighteenth. The remaining trio of Audis qualified together in positions twenty through twenty-two, with Fall-Line Motorsports ahead of the two Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS cars (#45 and #35).

The 2014 12 Hours of Sebring will be getting underway at 10:15 local time on Saturday morning. We wish the best of luck to all the Audi teams and drivers.