Notes From The Twelve Hours Of Sebring

Congratulations to Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Emmanuel Collard and Team Penske who drove and managed a fantastic race to win the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. With Team Penske?s outstanding overall victory in their nimble Porsche Spyder, 2008 is starting out like the 2007 ended, with the Porsche LMP2 beating the more powerful and heavier LMP1?s of Audi. Audi on paper should?ve been able to run away from the field at Sebring last Saturday. But with mechanical gremlins creeping in, it kept them from winning their ninth overall 12 Hours of Sebring event. However, I?m sure they will overcome their problems and will look strong at St. Pete.

I spoke to Tom Kristensen earlier in the week and he told me he was testing for the European Audi DTM team this week. He said they?ll have their hands full with Peugeot at LeMans but says that Audi will be up for the challenge.

Jorg Bergmeister seem very pumped after winning the GT2 class after losing the race on the last lap last year. He feels the new car is really looking good and is looking forward to the upcoming season after his Flying Lizard team captured the top two spots on the class podium. It should be a good battle this year between the Flying Lizards? Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and their rivals, the storied Ferrari nameplate.

Marco Andretti had very strong run and was extremely impressive as he was the fastest in the AGR Acura. Overheating issues spoiled a chance for the team to dice with the Penske Porsche for the victory last Saturday. Marco really liked racing in the endurance event and driving the Acura sports car. He?s looking forward to doing it some more, however he is ready for the IndyCar season to start. Marco feels like he is going to win some races this year after a tough sophomore season.

It was good seeing Sebring Hall of Fame inductees Derek Bell and Hans Stuck walking the paddock at Sebring, if there were a couple of Porsche 962?s on the grid it could had been 1986 again. The popular German told me he is writing an autobiography, however the upcoming book did not have a release date. By the way, the overall win for Porsche was its first since 1988 when the aforementioned Stuck and Klaus Ludwig won in a Porsche 962.

The next race for the American Le Mans Series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. The green flag is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 5 from the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be broadcast on ABC from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET on April 5.

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