ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring in 2009

We all recall the nail biter GT2 finish from the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring where the Risi Competizione Ferrari 430GT driven by Jaime Melo just edged Jorg Bergmeister in the Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. If you don’t you, or are just itching to watch it once more check out the video:

So was 2009 as intense? Starting with LMP1, Audi rose again. Their R15 TDI piloted by Allan McNish, Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen crossed the checkered flags 22 seconds ahead of Peugeot. In any normal race 22 seconds would be a clobbering. I said clobbering, yes. But let’s think about this. Was it really a clobbering? After 12 hours of sweat the gab was only 22 seconds. That’s pretty amazing. Not quite as dramatic as Melo and Bergmeister in 2007, but close enough that if McNish made an error, Franck Montagny could have possibly brought his French machine back to the top.

LMP2 wrapped up with the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing grasping it’s first LMP2 victory for Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz, Acura’s second in three years at Sebring. Their Acura ARX-01b consistent all race long while Dyson Racing’s two Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupes struggled and left the race at laps 127 and 149 with mechanical issues.

In GT2 it was all Italy with the Risi Competizione Ferrari 430GT taking 1st followed 2 laps behind by the Advanced Eng/Pecom 430GT. The Risi Ferrari started at the back of the field, making it’s way through the pack and taking the lead during the second hour and never once looked back. The surprise, pleasant to many of us, was to see PTG’s Panoz Esperante GTLM take 3rd after a hard fought battle with the Flying Lizard’s Porsche late in the race. PTG’s Panoz finished the race with 329 laps completed, just one lap down from the second place Advanced Eng/Pecom Ferrari. It’s great to see the Panoz doing well after so long. Personally, I would have loved to have seen the Viper and the Ford GT be more competitive.

So how about GT1? Seriously, nobody cares anymore.

Pics to come!


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