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Acura On Pole at Sebring

Sanjay KumarCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2009

Acura shocked the field when it qualified on the pole position for this weekend's American Le Mans Series 12 Hours of Sebring race...

The de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a LMP1 proved lightning quick as IRL driver Scott Dixon beat out the mighty diesel-powered Audi and Peugeot prototype cars to start first in tomorrow's race.

“I did hope that we would be up there in the top three or four but we have had such a mixed time in testing this week that it was really hard to predict anything,” said Dixon in an interview afterwards.

“It's been a really crazy week and although I have been here four or five days I have only really completed about 18 laps. You don't really get much of a chance to 'read' the car.

“Earlier in the week the track seemed nicer to drive but as the week went on I was really finding a lot of understeer in turns 15 and 16; you had to take it very easily around there you really can't throw the car around.

“I thought the Audis were handling the track better but I think the heat this afternoon helped us and the more laps we did the quicker the car. I am not used to that!”

Scott Dixon will be the third driver in the car along with ALMS drivers Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud.

Behind the de Ferran Acura is the Audi R15 of McNish/Capello/Kristensen. Acura's second ARX-02a, run by Patron Highcroft Racing qualified sixth, with Acura's LMP2 car run by Lowe's Fernandez Racing right behind in seventh.

The 12 Hours of Sebring will commence this weekend, so check your local listings for possible coverage. Below are the qualifying times for the field for tomorrow's race:

1. de Ferran/Pagenaud, Dixon de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a 1min 45.278secs LMP1

2. Capello/Kristensen/McNish Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDi 1min 45.360secs LMP1

3. Lamy/Minassian/Klien Peugeot Sport Peugeot 908 HDi 1min 45.462secs LMP1

4. Luhr/Werner/Rockenfeller Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDi 1min 45.551secs LMP1

5. Sarrazin/Montagny/Bourdais Peugeot Sport Peugeot 908 HDi 1min 45.559secs LMP1

6. Brabham/Franchitti/Sharp Patron Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a 1min 46.504secs LMP1

7. Fernandez/Diaz Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura ARX-01B 1min 49.686secs LMP2

8. Dyson/Smith/Lally Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder 1min 51.534secs LMP2

9. Field/Field/Ducote Intersport Racing Lola B06/10-AER 1min 52.323secs LMP1

10. McMurry/Willman/Burgess Autocon Motorsports Lola B06/10-AER 1min 51.598secs LMP1

11. Leitzinger/Franchitti/Devlin Dyson Racing Lola B09/86-Mazda 1min 51.840secs LMP2

12. Gavin/Beretta/Fassler Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 1min 57.882secs GT1

13. O'Connell/Magnussen/Garcia Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 1min 58.203secs GT1

14. Henzler/Werner/Lietz Farnbacher Loles Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 2min 03.051secs GT2

15. Bergmeister/Long/Lieb Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 2min 03.433secs GT2

16. Companc/Bruni/Russo Advanced Eng/Pecom Ferrari 430 2min 03.487secs GT2

17. Salo/Melo/Kaffer Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 2min 03.829secs GT2

18. Robertson/Robertson/Murry Robertson Racing Doran Ford GT Mk7 2min 04.333secs GT2

19. Muller/Milner Rahal Letterman Racing BMW E92 M3 2min 03.514secs GT2

20. Farnbacher/James Panoz Team PTG Panoz Esperante 2min 04.437secs GT2

21. Hand/Auberlen Rahal Letterman Racing BMW E92 M3 2min 04.566secs GT2

22. Feinberg/Hall/Holt Primetime Race Group Dodge Viper 2min 05.619secs GT2

23. Cocker/Drayson/Bell Drayson-Barwell Aston Martin Vantage /B> 2min 05.692secs GT2

24. Pastorelli/Stuck/Stuck VICI Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 2min 05.805secs GT2

25. Gigliotti/Curran/Molo LG Motorsports Corvette C6 2min 06.678secs GT2

26. Krohn/Jonsson/van de Poele Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 2min 08.386secs GT2

27. Law/Neiman/van Overbeek Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 2min 10.912secs GT2

28. Westbrook/Basseng/David VICI Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR no time GT2

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