Some Things You Should Know: 11-0318

Here are some Things You Should Know:

Audi was fastest in both of the daytime Sebring 12 Hours practice sessions on Thursday, though times remained slower than the best testing pace from earlier in the week. Night practice, however, was a different matter. The Peugeot 908 of Wurz, Gene and Davidson stormed to the top of the leader board by half a second over the Capello/Kristensen/McNish Audi. The Peugeot of Montagny/Sarrazin/Lamy was third in the night practice.

Earlier in the day the factory Peugeots appeared to be keeping a low profile – only fifth and sixth in the first session, and third and fourth in the afternoon. ORECA had put its older 908 ahead of the works cars in third in the morning. The Muscle Milk Lola-Aston Martin had been fourth quickest in the opening session, but just after the chequered flag it stopped on the circuit with a fire at its rear end, ruling it out of second practice.

There was also a chance in the P2 category during the near two-hour night session. Topping the calss was the Level 5 Lola Honda of Tucker/Hunter-Reay/Diaz. The Oreca 03 Nissan of Mailleux/Ordonex/Ayari that had dominated through the morning sessions was down a half second in night practice.

The GT leaders were Melo/Vilander/Sala in their Ferrari F458 Italia. Second was the Gavin/Magnessen/Westbrook Corvette ZR1 and third was the Melo/Vilander/Sala Ferrari F458. Toni Vilander put Risi’s new Ferrari 458 on top in the GT class in session one, narrowly beating the two BMWs and Olivier Beretta’s Corvette. Tommy Milner then took Corvette to the top later on, chased by the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche and Risi. But that was before everything changed when the lights came on.

LMPC was paced by the No. 005 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09 of Jon Bennett, Frankie Montecalvo and Ryan Daliziel, while the newly-repaired No. 023 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Leh Keen, Bill Sweedler and Brian Wong led the way in GTC.

After suffering an engine fire in the opening practice, the Muscle Milk AMR Lola-Aston Martin returned to the track this evening, setting the sixth-quickest time in LMP1. The No. 032 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was the only car that failed to set a lap time tonight, as repairs continued following a morning incident.

The final practice is Friday morning followed by qualifying later in the afternoon.

I’m leaving this up because of the incredible story value. It’s from the Signatech Nissan ORECA 03 and Lucas Ordoñez of Spain who won the first GT Academy and has grown through two professional racing seasons in GT4 competition in a 350Z in 2009 and a 370Z in 2010. In 2009 he finished second after wins in Belgium and Portugal. Now he’s a driver with Team Signatech Nissan to compete in the 2011 International Le Mans Cup including this weekend at the Sebring 12 Hour. He’s piloting an ORECA O3 LMP2 car and the team has worked it’s way to the top of the LMP2 charts and tenth overall in practice at Sebring. Even more incredible, Ordonez is listed as the fastest driver on the team!

This is an awesome leap forward – not just for Lucas, GT Academy, and the Gran Turismo series, but for sim-racers everywhere.

The Asia Pacific Rally Chamionship has 18 confirmed drivers with more expected since the entry date is still a month away. Heading the drivers registered for the full six round competition is last years champion Katsu Taguchi from Japan. Here’s more: And this preseason promo video is impressive!

WC Vision today confirmed a growing partnership with Pirelli Tire North America and announced that the tire brand has signed a five-year deal for title sponsor of the World Challenge Championships. The new title for the series is the Pirelli World Challenge Championships. The 12-race 2011 Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTS and Touring Car Championships campaign begins with Rounds 1 and 2 on the streets of St. Petersburg, March 25-27. All races will be broadcast on Versus. Here’s more:

F1′s steady move to a more eco-friendly formula is going in the wrong direction according to the sport’s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone. He fears that TV networks will walk away from the sport if the “green-tech” turbo four cylinder engines now being planned are adopted in 2013. Ecclestone also believes the reduced noise from smaller engines will make people lose interest in Formula 1.

What Do You Think this week? Can 2-time World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm validate rallycross enough in the U.S. to attract your attention to the sport? Yes or No? You can vote at www.ByBillWood.com. GET BUSY!! Take a minute to vote. Learn something about yourself! http://www.bybillwood.com/online/

A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the fabled lost city of Atlantis in some mud flats in Southern Spain. The legendary metropolis was believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago. “This is the power of tsunamis,” head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters.

To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis.

The team’s findings will be unveiled on Sunday in “Finding Atlantis,” a new National Geographic Channel special.

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