By Michael Oellers
At the beginning of this week the ab. thirty cars taking part in WEC series met at Sebring (US) for the meanwhile already traditional first series of pre-seasonal tests. Apart from the WEC contestants also numerous cars racing in the various ALMS categories filled the Florida raceway so that it at times was quite crowded and in the end about sixty teams achieved a time score.
On Monday and Tuesday a total of four practice sessions took place - all dominated by the Audi team who plan to appear with three improved previous-year’s R18s at the Sebring starting grid. Naturally they took the first three positions on the time schedule, gaining more than 3secs on the Pickett HPD ARX-03a of Luhr/Graf/Pagenaud.
Nick, Neel Jani, and Nicolas Prost in their Rebellion-Racing-Toyota came in fifth in 1min 50.619secs, though they were first of the gasoline-powered cars. They trailed the leading Audi by 3.5secs.
After a day’s rest on Wednesday the WEC on Thursday officially starts at Sebring into its first season. A total of three one-hour free-training sessions, one of them in darkness, give the teams a chance to check their set-up once more and train the pit stops and changeovers of drivers. On Friday the qualifying is programmed, while on Saturday at 15:30hrs local time the sixtieth 12 hours of Sebring will at last be started.