Making his Sebring International Raceway debut Lucas di Grassi was the fastest man on the opening day of testing at the track as the build-up began for this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring.
The Brazilian, who will share the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro with Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen in the race lapped the 3.74 mile track in 1:46.262 in the final hour of Monday’s afternoon session. Though only just shy of a second clear in the three hour session di Grassi’s time was only two tenths faster than the #12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota had topped the morning session with.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing claimed the second fastest time in both sessions. Their best time was a 1:47.157 from the afternoon. While both Rebellion Lolas tested in both sessions Audi’s running was limited to just the #2 entry for both sessions, though the manufacturer will enter two cars for the LMP1 swansong at the 12 Hours.
The DeltaWing – newly up-speced to LMP1 – only ran in the afternoon completing on 16 laps for a best time of 2:01.025 and 20th overall.
Greaves Motorsport, who will run Tom Kimber–Smith, Christian Zugel and Eric Lux in the Zytek-Nissan, were the only LMP2 car to run on the day, both the Level 5 Motorsports and Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD squads declining to set a competitive time.
With the #4 Corvette Racing topped the GT class in both sessions, with their best lap (1:59.411) set in the morning session where the pair of C6 ZR1 finished first and third, split by the #97 Aston Martin Vantage, Aston Martin Racing debuting their 2013 GTE racer at the race.
The Corvette team’s performance was repeated in the afternoon, though with Risi Competizione’s Ferrari taking the on the role of splitting the #4 and #3 on the timesheets with the two Vantages fourth and fifth with the #91 SRT Viper sixth to keep the top half dozen covered by less than a second.
Team Falken Tire were the best Porsche team in both sessions, fourth fastest in the morning, but only ninth in the afternoon running.
CORE Autosport and Performance Tech Motorsports led the LMPC class in the morning and afternoon respectively, the earlier time (1:54.030) by far the quicker of the two, though the afternoon session finished as a perfect advert for the spec class with six of the seven cars in class covered by a single second.
Alex Job Racing’s entry was fastest in GTC in both session, their best time also coming in the morning session with Flying Lizard Motorsports’ #45 second fastest on both occasions.
The morning session in particular was interrupted by a number of minor incidents including both the #007 Aston Martin and the Dempsey/Del Piero GTC entry meeting the turn 16 barrier before running finished five minutes early to allow recovery of the #91 Viper.
The 12 Hours of Sebring week continues with further testing on both Tuesday and Wednesday before the first offcial practice sessions on Thursday.