SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2005) – It took 39 of 40 practice minutes, but German Wolf Henzler catapulted into the top spot after Wednesday’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT practice sessions – two days before Friday’s season-opening race as part of the 53rd Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.-30-
Henzler, in the No. 55 Applied Materials/Porsche 911 Cup, smoked the day’s previous best with his afternoon time of 2:11.572 (101.237 mph), topping 3-R Racing’s Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., who drove the No. 1 c3controls/3R-Racing Dodge Viper to the fastest morning time of 2:11.910 (100.978 mph).
“We ran a simulated qualifying round with new tires,” said Henzler, who won both SPEED GT events he entered last year. “We know it might rain tomorrow, but the race is supposed to be dry, so we practiced like it would be dry.”
Archer’s teammate Phil McClure, who traded in his 2003 Sebring-winning Corvette for a new Viper, set the third-fastest time of the day, with a 2:12.443. Cadillac’s factory drivers showed strong in each session with Andy Pilgrim, of Del Ray Beach, Fla., was fourth with a 2:12.644 in the No. 8 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V, and “Mad” Max Papis, of Miami, Fla., completed the top five in the No. 16 Cadillac after turning in a 2:12.690 in the afternoon.
Qualifying for Round One of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship from Sebring International Raceway is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. and can be followed live at www.world-challenge.com.
The SCCA SPEED GT race is set for Friday at 3:45 p.m.
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