Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder to Start First in LMP2 at Sebring

March 14, 2008

Timo Bernhard (Germany), defending American Le Mans Series LMP2 co-champion, has placed his #7 Penske RS Spyder on the the first starting position without turning a wheel for Saturday's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Bernhard, who won the LMP2 championship last year with co-driver Romain Dumas (France), was sitting in the car ready to leave the pits about eight minutes into the 25-minute qualifying session when the session was red-flagged because of an accident and the subsequent required clean-up. At first, the Penske Porsche team was chagrined because neither RS Spyder had qualified, but the International Motor Sports Association determined by rule that, because of the incomplete session, starting positions will be determined by fast times in the previous practice sessions.

"I would have liked to capture the pole position by going faster than the other cars in the class, but starting fourth overall and first in class certainly beats starting at the back of the pack with no qualifying time," said Bernhard, who will be joined by Dumas and Emmanuel Collard (France) for Saturday's race.

The #6 team Porsche RS Spyder of Patrick Long (USA), Sascha Maassen (Germany), and Ryan Briscoe (Australia) will start second in class, followed by the Fernandez/Diaz Acura (third), and the Marino Franchitti (Scotland), Butch Leitzinger (USA), Andy Lally (USA) Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder (fourth).