Some Things You Should Know: 11-0315

Here are some Things You Should Know:

Peugeot picked up Monday where it left off last year with the fastest time in Monday’s test session for the 59th Sebring 12 Hour. One of the two new factory Peugeot 908s – driven by Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy – turned a best lap of 1:47.678 (123.702 mph) during the first of two four-hour sessions in the lead-up to the opening round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series.

Things were incredibly close though with the top six cars within 1.158 seconds across the two sessions. The fastest of Audi Sport Team Joest’s Audi R15 prototypes sat second at 1:47.919 (123.426 mph), the best time of the afternoon session; that was the car of 2009 Sebring winners Tom Kristensen, Dindo Capello and Allan McNish. The sister Audi of reigning Le Mans champions Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller sat third, just 0.106 seconds back.

Next up was defending ALMS prototype champion Highcroft Racing and its new HPD ARX-01e of David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti. It was the only non-diesel among the top four cars at 1:48.342 (122.486 mph) in the morning.

The GT battle Monday was just as close with the first three cars within 0.267 seconds. The first BMW Motorsport BMW M3 GT of Bill Auberlen, Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner, set a lap of 2:01.562 (109.574 mph) in the morning for a 0.152-second gap over the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marc Lieb, which set its fast lap of 2:01.714 (109.437 mph) in the morning session. Coincidentally it was the exact same as the BMW’s quickest in the afternoon. Here’s more:

Porsche and Audi put their factory drivers through intense off-season training camps to prepare them for the rigors of racing in events like the 12 Hours of Sebring. Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, who will share the #045 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with fellow factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), was one of the drivers who went away for the training.

Long and the other eight Porsche factory drivers recently went through boot camp in Boca Raton, where they underwent a rigorous workout regime disguised as fun time at the beach, including 10K runs with specific heart rates, strength training, aerobics, yoga, tai bow aerobics 6 on 6 volleyball, ocean swims and intense exercise comprised long days of training. Here’s more:

While five-time American Le Mans Series’ champion Joerg Bergmeister joined the press launch of the all-new 2011 Porsche Carrera GTS in Palm Springs, California, he took the chance to take his first test drive in the new car. Here he compares the new 408 hp GTS model to his own 911 Carrera S – and to his Flying Lizard 911 GT3 RSR car.

By now you’ve already heard that two-time WRC champion Marcus Gronholm will be participating in the Global Rallycross launch at Irwindale March 25-26. World rally legend Gronholm won WRC championships in 2000 and 20002. His 30 victories are the second most in World Rally Championship history behind only Sebastien Loeb’s 63. By any measure Gronholm is one of the most successful rally drivers in history. He says he’s finished with the WRC but he might be interested in doing more rallycross events.

Gronholm drove two season’s for Ford in the WRC in 2006-07. He officially retired following the 2007 season. Since then he has kept busy with one off events like Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2009 and by running a handful of European RallyCross events. He even won the first European Rallycross event he entered in Sweden in 2008.

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