"12 Hours of Sebring" Qualifying: Double Pole Position For Pirelli

Sebring (USA), March 16th, 2006 - The new partnership between Aston Martin and Pirelli got off to the best possible start in official qualifying for the 54th Annual "12 Hours of Sebring", the opening race of the 2006 American Le Mans Series. In typical Floridian hot afternoon conditions the two Astons scorched around the track to take first and second grid positions ahead of the two factory Corvettes. Pedro Lamy in car #009 set a new GT1 class qualifying lap record of 1.55.286. Also impressive were the two Pirelli-shod Panoz Esperantes, now prepared by the Canadian Multimatic team, running in GT2 class. At the end of qualifying they were first and third in class. Here too, Pirelli gained a new class qualifying record with pole sitter David Brabham registering the fastest lap at 2.03.563. Now the challenge is to repeat the performance in race conditions. Commented Paul Hembery, Pirelli's Director of Motorsport 'It will surely be a long twelve hours and a fierce battle in both classes. We have done the necessary testing to ensure the longevity of our tires so we are quietly confident. Like everyone else in this great race we hope to be there at the end, celebrating !" The "12 Hours of Sebring" 2006 starts at 10.43 (4.13 pm CET), on Saturday March 18th. Qualifying results, GT1 Class: 1 Lamy-Sarrazin-Bright (Aston Martin DBR9), 1'55''286; 2 Turner-Kiesa-Enge (Aston Martin DBR9), 1'56''030; 3 Magnussen-Beretta-Gavin (Corvette C6R), 1'56''770; 4 Papis-Fellows-O'Connor (Corvette C6R), 1'57''854; 5 Babini-Davies-Ruberti (Saleen S7-R), 2'00''128. Qualifying results, GT2 Class: 1 Bourdais-Brabham-Maxwell (Panoz Esperante), 2'03''563; 2 Lazzaro-Kelleners-Melo (Ferrari F430 GT), 2''03''608; 3 Junqueira-Milner-Jeannette (Panoz Esperante), 2'03''671.