Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sebring Live Updates

You can watch the race on ESPN3 or at the ALMS website. Follow the race order with timing and scoring here.

At the start:

Peugeot leads while Audi takes second and third but by the next lap Peugeot is back to first and second. In GT Oliver Gavin takes the lead while BMW is fighting the Ferrari of Bruni for second. Bruni takes back the lead 10 minutes later. The BMW of Dirk Mueller loses its tire after contact with the Level 5 Honda. First caution comes when the Lamborghini is stranded on the grass with a broken wheel. Jamie Melo takes the GT lead shortly after the restart. At first hour The number 1 Audi loses many laps two to cut left rear tires. Hour and a half into the race McNish takes a 45 second after a pit stop. A second caution comes for a LMC car stranded on the track and wipes out McNish's lead.

Hour Three
A third caution comes out two hours into the race with the Patrick Long bouncing into the Corvette of Jan Magnussen spinning both cars, however the Ferrari of Johannes van Overbeek took the worst with a strong hit into the tire wall after contact with the Corvette. At the top of the field The number 2 Audi of Tom Kristensen is close behind chasing the number 8 Peugeot of Sarrazin. In P2 Luis Diaz had taken over the lead in his Lola Honda over the Nissan Oreca of Lucas Ordonez for some laps before having to pit. Kristensen took the overall lead shortly after the Peugeot pit stop but pitted himself shortly at the 9 hour mark.

Hour Four
BMW is first and second in GT with Ferrari of Mika Salo third. The fourth caution of the race comes out on lap 99 of the race after a Porsche caught fire. The caution has bunched up the front of the field with the Peugeot only 10 seconds ahead of the Audi. However the green racing was short lived with an another caution for the AJR Porsche stuck on the straight.

Hour Five
After the restart the number 7 Peugeot hit the number 2 Audi and should be getting a penalty if it gets back out after repairs. The race for the overall win is essentially over now. With that said, Simon Pagenaud has overtaken the number 8 Peugeot for the overall lead with an excellent and most importantly clean pass when Peugoet was slowed down by some traffic. Only moments later a sixth yellow came out after a car in the tire wall.

Hour Six
The Honda Performance Development P1 has lost the overall lead after the latest restart but has been able to remain second with Marino Franchitti a few seconds ahead of last year's 908 driven by Oliver Panis. Meanwhile Jamie Melo in the new 458 Italia us first in GT with the next four in GT less than five seconds behind.

Half Way Through The Race

Six hours after the race began there is another full course yellow. Thanks to all of the caution periods there is close racing for the lead and GT. Soon after the restart the Oreca 908 HDI Fap takes over second place overall. After the restart the racing is extremely competitive in GT as demonstrated by Toni Vilander's excellent clean pass on Tommy Milner for third in GT. A little later Pierre Kafer was able to take advantage of a slight mistake by Dirk Mueller to take the GT lead.

Hour Eight

With five hours left 'till the checkered flag the race is once again under yellow for the time being. After the restart the Oreca Peugeot leads with the David Brabham piloted Honda 6 seconds back and the factory Peugeot 10 seconds back. Pierre Kafer continues to lead GT with the BMWs 4 and 8 seconds back.

Hour Nine

Another caution and another restart gave Loic Duval and Oreca an opportunity to overtake the Brabam's HPD effort with a little more than 4 hours remaining.

Hour Ten

Things seemed to have slowed down for a bit as the race approached three hours left. A pit-stop had the leader change its front bodywork to fix broken louvers. Immediately after the pit-sop Pedro Lamy spun the previously race leading 908. The spin and the long pit stop have put the factory 908 in third. Andy Priaulx continues to lead GT and has opened up a 25 second lead over Giancarlo Fisichella in the F430.

Two Hours To Go

With two hours left and the circuit completely dark Sebring is not in its homestretch. Nicolas Lapierre leads with Simon Pagenaud seconds and Pedro Lamy chasing after his spin. BMW continues to place first in second in GT. The P2 category has found its competitors visiting the pit-lane frequently, Ryan Hunter-Reay leads overall in his Lola-Honda but is only 29th overall.

One Hour To Go

With a little under an hour left in the race Pagenaud leads the race having just inherited the lead when the Oreca 908 pitted. Loic Duval in the Oreca is 17 seconds behind Pagenaud and the new factory 908 is 39 seconds behind the leader. All three competitors for first place will likely need at least another pit-stop. Pagenaud and Montagny can significantly improve their odds of winning if they can stay out about 10 more minutes and guarantee only one final pit-stop. We are in for a great last 50 minutes!

The final pit stops are over and Duval leads in his Oreca 908 HDI FAP with Pagenaud's Honda 34 seconds behind, the factory 908 is third 58 seconds behind. It's now up to the drivers in the last 30 minutes!

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