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12 Hours of Sebring

Penske Racing Porsche ends Audi's dominance

SEBRING — Porsche ended a 20-year drought at Sebring International Raceway late Saturday, halting Audi's eight-year overall winning streak with a surprising victory.

Driving the Roger Penske-owned Porsche RS Spyder, Romain Dumas finished 12.9 seconds ahead of the Acura ARX-01B of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz. The Acura, however, was excluded from the results after failing the stall test during postrace inspection.

Timo Bernhard and Emmanuel Collard co-drove the winning Porsche. It was the first overall Sebring win for all three.

"Two times last year I was put in (during) the last stint to try to catch the leaders," Dumas said. "This time, I was given a car with the lead and I managed to hold onto it. We're especially proud to give this victory to Roger Penske."

With Acura's disqualification, second place in the American Le Mans Series opener went to Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti and Andy Lally in a Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder.

The top two were Le Mans P2 prototypes, which are less powerful than the P1s like the Audio R10 TDI diesel of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello. Their car overcame an early penalty and brake problems to win their class, Audi's ninth straight class victory at Sebring.

Johnny O'Connell became the career Sebring victory leader with his seventh, teaming with Ron Fellows and Jan Magnussen to take the GT1 class in a Corvette C6R. The GT2 class went to Jorg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler and Marc Lieb, who finished 13th overall in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Penske Racing Porsche ends Audi's dominance 03/16/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 17, 2008 11:15am]
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