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SPEED TV:
Audis Sweep Front Row At Sebring With Track Record

By: Eric Mauk

Sebring, Fla., March 14

As expected, the Audi Sport North America squad stormed away with the pole for the 12 Hours of Sebring, but the storm may have been a bit stronger than originally forecast.

Frank Biela took the No. 1 Infineon Audi R8 around the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway course in 1:48.029/123.300mph to eclipse his own track record by .796 seconds, a mark he set in the Audi two seasons ago.

"Coming here is always something special," said Biela. "The 50th just makes it more so. Sebring, Le Mans and Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans) are races that all sports car drivers want to win."

The sister Audi also broke the Sebring standard to complete a sweep of the front row with the Rinaldo Capello-driven machine carding a lap of 1:48.744. The time was nearly two full seconds ahead of the closest LMP900 prototype, the Panoz driven by David Brabham.

"My fastest lap could have been a little better, but not a big amount," Brabham said. "I tried to have another crack at it, but kept having problems with traffic. I had one car that kept getting in my way when I was trying to get a clear lap."

The big surprise of the day came from former Dayton Indy Lights Rookie of the Year Jonny Kane, who took the LMP675 MG Lola of KnightHawk Racing to the third spot on the grid in a time that was five seconds ahead of the nearest qualifying LMP675 machine.

"We chipped away at the times over the last few days, and we finished up today doing a really good job," said Kane. "This is a privateer team, and all the guys worked really hard and did a super job. Qualifying 3rd on the grid is really quite exceptional for a 675 car – I’m very pleased with the week so far. I look forward to the race this weekend and I think we can do well. The most important thing is to get to the finish. Hopefully we’ll be there at the end."

Wednesday practice leaders in the GTS class followed suit again in Thursday qualifying as the Nos. 3 and 4 GM Goodwrench Corvettes led the way as the only GTS machines to break two minutes, with the No. 3 of Ron Fellows taking the class pole. In the GT division it was the Alex Job Racing Porsche of Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen taking the honors.

Qualifying results from Sebring follow:

1) LMP900 No. 1 Infineon Audi R8, Biela/Kristensen/Pirro, 1:48.029
2) LMP900 No. 2 Infineon Audi R8, Capello/Herbert/Pescatori, 1:48.744
3) LMP675 No. 11 DNTLworks KnightHawk MGLola, Knight/Hawkins/Kane, 1:50.543
4) LMP900 No. 50 Michelin Panoz Motor Sports Panoz LMP01, Magnussen/Brabham/van de Poele, 1:50.617
5) LMP900 No. 38 Michelin Champion Racing Audi R8, Wallace/Lammers/Johansson, 1:50.797
6) LMP900 No. 51 Michelin Panoz Motor Sports Panoz LMP01, Heart/Donohue/Auberlen, 1:51.076
7) LMP900 No. 7 Compuware/AC Delco Cadillac LMP02, Bernard/Collard/Lehto, 1:51.160
8) LMP900 No. 8 Compuware/AC Delco Cadillac LMP02, Taylor, Angelelli/Tinseau, 1:51.434
9) LMP900 No. 36 Jim Matthews Racing Riley & Scott, Matthews/Smith/Goosens, 1:51.834
10) LMP900 No. 27 Dorna/Lista Dallara/Judd, Lienhard/Theys/Baldi, 1:52.186
11) LMP900 No. 21 NDS Healthcare Ascari/Judd, Collins/Vann, 1:54.447
12) LMP900 No. 20 Goodyear/Thetford Dyson Riley&Scott, R. Dyson/ C. Dyson/Schroeder, 1:54.959
13) LMP900 No. 16 Goodyear/Thetford Dyson Riley&Scott, Weaver/Leitzinger/Forbes-Robinson, 1:55.197
14) LMP900 No. 19 NDS Healthcare Ascari/Judd, Lupberger/Bell/Kolby, 1:55.689
15) LMP675 No. 37 Banana Joe’s Intersport MG Lola, Field/Dayton/Durand, 1:55.900
16) LMP900 No. 00 Gunnar Racing Panoz LMP-1, Jackson/Jeannette/Block, 1:56.219
17) LMP900 No. 17 MBD Sportscar Panoz LMP07, Duno/Graham/Maxwell, 1:56.432
18) LMP900 No. 18 MBD Sportscar Panoz LMP07, de Raidgues/Lambert/Sutherland, 1:56.957
19) LMP675 No. 41 Swan Noel Del Bello Racing Reynard 2KQ, Deletraz/Pillon/Smithson, 1:58.080
20) LMP675 No. 28 Romer Welter Racing WR/Peugeot, De Fournoux/Daoudi/Smith, 1:58.318
21) GTS No. 3 GM Goodwrench Corvette C5-R, Fellows/O’Connell/Gavin, 1:59.699
22) GTS No. 4 GM Goodwrench Corvette C5-R, Pilgrim/Collins/Freon, 1:59.940
23) LMP675 No. 40 Winchester/JCI Chemicals Reynard 2KQ, J. Jones/R. Jones/J. Jones, 2:00.568
24) GTS No. 46 Team Carsport Holland Viper GTS, Hezemans/Kumpen/Cappellari, 2:01.476
25) GTS No. 86 ThermoKing Larbre Competition Viper GTS, Chereau/Bouchut/Vosse, 2:01.785
26) GTS No. 77 Prodrive Ferrari 550 Rydell/Menu/Enge, 2:02.971
27) GTS No. 83 Scania Graham Nash Motorsport Saleen S7R, McKellar/Johson/Erdos, 2:03.069
28) GTS No. 26 SWR Konrad Motorsports Saleen S7R, Konrad/Seiler/Borcheller, 2:03.467
29) LMP900 No. 30 Banana Joe’s Intersport Lola/Judd, Neuhaus/Macaluso/Brickell, 2:02.235
30) LMP675 No. 89 Kolter/Dunlop Porschehaus Lola/Nissan, Veilleux/Julien/Merzon, 2:04.733
31) LMP675 No. 24 AutoExe Motorsports Auto Exe LMP-02, Terada/Downing/Fergus, 2:06.027
32) LMP675 No. 55 Team Bucknum Pilbeam MP84, McMurry/Willman/Ehret, 2:06.719
33) GT No. 23 Mobil1 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3, Luhr/Maassen, 2:07.460
34) LMP675 No. 56 Team Bucknum Pilbeam MP84, Downs/Bucknum/Ziegelman, 2:07.640
35) GT No. 57 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3, Dumas/Amorim/Fertl, 2:07.746
36) GT No. 22 Mobil1 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3, Bernhard/Bergmeister/Lieb, 2:07.786
37) GT No. 60 Pirelli P.K. Sport Porsche 911 GT3, Liddell/Babini/Anapoli, 2:07.946
38) GT No. 53 Yokohama Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3, Rosa/Caffi/Riccitelli, 2:08.376
39) GT No. 31 Aprimatic JMB Racing Ferrari 360, Argetsinger/Montermini/Hunter-Reay, 2:09.051
40) GT No. 79 J3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3, Jackson/Fitzgerald/Murry, 2:09.472
41) GT No. 65 Harlow Motorsport Porshce 911 GT3, Youles/Rymer/Mowlem, 2:09.804
42) GT No. 66 Suncoast Porsche The Racer’s Group Porsche 911 GT3, Buckler/Schrom/Law, 2:10.390
43) GT No. 33 MSB Motorsport Ferrari 360, Kelleners/Franchitti, 2:10.913
44) GT No. 32 Aprimatic JMB Racing Ferrari 360, Vannini/Garbagnati/Negri, 2:10.997
45) GT No. 52 Yokohama Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3, Plumb/Collin/Bagnall, 2:11.214
46) GT No. 61 Pirelli P.K. Sport Porsche 911 GT3, Masarati/Demeroutis/Alexander, 2:11.566
47) GT No. 43 Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3, Hindery/Baron/Borkowski, 2:11.875
48) GT No. 67 Suncoast Porsche The Racer’s Group Porsche 911 GT3, Schumacher/Nagel/Pace, 2:12.365
49) GT No. 42 Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3, Schultheis/Kester/Willingham,2:12.631
50) GTS No. 25 Konrad Motorsports Saleen S7R, Brun/Pickering/Slater, 2:13.258
51) GT No. 85 Race Line 917 Racing Porsche 911 GT3, Simmenauer/Clement/Ahrle 2:13.550
52) GT No. 12 Dunlop Spyker Squadron Spyker C8, Kox/Hill/Hugenholtz, 2:14.225
53) GT No. 29 Sebah Automotive Porsche 911 GT3, Hayden/Earle/Griffiths, 2:14.912
54) GT No. 99 Cirtek Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3, Gleason/Dawson/Gooding, 2:15.952
55) GTS No. 45 American Viperacing Viper GTS, Fairbanks/Lewis/Goldrich, 2:44.658
56) LMP675 No. 69 Kyser Racing Lola/Nissan, Wankum/Foster/Bundy, No Time

On the entry list but did not post a time:

GTS No. 0 Team Olive Garden Ferrari 550, Naspetti/Schiattarella/Ceccotto,
GTS No. 5 Yokohama Park Place Saleen S7R, Bingham/MacLeod/Rice,
GTS No. 44 American Viperacing Viper GTS, Gregg/Bunting/Weickardt,
GT No. 58 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3, Vance/Southard,

PHOTO

Jonny Kane put the No. 11 KnightHawk Racing LMP675 ahead of everyone except the two LMP900 Audis in Sebring qualifying. (Photo: Greg Aleck/LAT Photographic)

http://www.speedtv.com/_assets/img/photo/RN_581_0.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Official KnightHawk Press Release

Official KnightHawk Release:

For Immediate Release

LOLA, L-O-L-A, LOLA, LO-LO-LO-LO, LO-LAHHH!


KNIGHTHAWK LMP 675 QUALIFIES 1ST IN CLASS & 3RD OVERALL AT SEBRING


March 14, 2002, Road Atlanta, GA - KnightHawk Racing pulled an unexpected
upset by qualifying its MG Lola 675 1st in class and 3rd overall for the
50th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, this Saturday,
March 16, 2002.

The team’s #11 DNTLworks MG Lola 675 LMP, piloted by Jonny Kane, ran ten
laps in today’s joint LMP 900/675 qualifying session and generated a
best-lap time of 1:50.543 to secure the class pole – as well as a surprising
3rd overall.

The first and second qualifying spots were secured, as expected, by the #1
and #2 Audi’s respectively. The third spot achieved by KnightHawk puts them
ahead of the remaining 15 LMP 900’s in the field for the sportscar classic.

Ever since the LMP 675 class was officially sanctioned for the American Le
Mans Series, sportscar purists and fans alike have debated whether a 675 car
could achieve 900 lap times. It appears as though the performance of the
KnightHawk MG Lola has answered that question with a resounding - yes! It
also appears that Saturday’s race will now become even more interesting.

Saturday’s 50th anniversary race may very well turn out to be sportscar’s
version of David and Goliath!

The ALMS seems to have succeeded at creating a more affordable prototype
category to stimulate increased prototype entries. As last year’s Sebring
race, there was one 675 entry – KnightHawk’s. This year there are ten. With
today’s results showing the class’ increased ability to compete, it will
surely generate more interest, more entries and yes, even more debate.

Several of racing’s heavy-hitters have believed that the LMP 675 class had
the potential to do exactly what was done today – but not until a
manufacturer made a decision to build a purpose-built LMP 675 from the
ground-up. MG Lola made that decision - and today’s qualifying results are
indeed a testimony to their effort.

“We chipped away at the times over the last few days, and we finished up
today doing a really good job,” said team qualifier Jonny Kane. ”This is a
privateer team, and all the guys worked really hard and did a super job.
Qualifying 3rd on the grid is really quite exceptional for a 675 car – I’m
very pleased with the week so far. I look forward to the race this weekend
and I think we can do well. The most important thing is to get to the
finish. Hopefully we’ll be there at the end.”

“We’ve proven that we can be quick,’ said team co-owner and driver Mel
Hawkins, ‘but that’s just the first test. Now we must prove to be reliable –
and the race this Saturday will be our second test.”

I’d like to commend the entire team for their exceptional effort – 3rd
overall was beyond our expectations – and we’re really quite happy about
it,” said co-owner and driver Steve Knight. “Jonny was absolutely
incredible, truly a world-class driver. The team did an outstanding job of
prepping the car and sorting through some handling problems we experienced
earlier in the week. We’re all very excited and really look forward to the
race!”

http://www.knighthawkracing.com/02_sebring/test.jpg
 
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