FLORIDA, USA, March 17, 2006 - Qualifying for the ALMS Sebring 12 hour race turned out to be a surprise for Nicolas Kiesa and Aston Martin Racing. They are ahead of both cars from Corvette Racing and Kiesa's car came in second in the GT1 class only beaten by the other Aston Martin. A surprise - but a nice one.
"We had absolutely no idea how good we would be in qualifying, as we have testet all week with a big fuel load. We never tried a qualifying run, as we have focused on getting the Pirelli tyres to work, and work over a great distance. That is the main thing in a race like this.
"I do expect a lot of good things in this race, and my goal is to end on the podium. It might sound a bit crazy, but I think it should be possible."
Nicolas also did a good deal of night testing to prepare himself for the race. It wasn't as hard on the track as it was doing the pitstops and driver changes in the dark. A number of cords and hoses connected to radio, drinking device and cool suit, complicates the change in and out of the car.
But once on the track, Nicolas quickly familiarized himself with nighttime driving at around 250 km/h. "It was a bit tough to begin with. I was surprised at all the people taking pictures. You get bombed with flashes when you enter a breaking zone, just as your eyes is getting used to the dark. It takes a bit of getting used to, but besides that it wasn't difficult at all," concludes Kiesa.