Action At Super Sebring

WEC hairpin action. [Photo by Jack Webster]

WEC hairpin action. [Photo by Jack Webster]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

It’s the third week of March, and it seems as if every sports car racing fan from around the planet has descended upon the normally sleepy town of Sebring for a double dose of endurance racing this week – the 8 Hour (or 1000 mile) FIA-WEC race on Friday afternoon into the night and the traditional Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, which will be held on its usual date of Saturday.

So far, the weather has been outstanding – a nice mixture of Florida warm temperatures and blue skies, but for the 12 Hour race on Saturday, it looks as though we may have a bit of rain (or, from the looks of things right now, quite a bit of rain). It is Florida, after all, so to be sure about the forecast we will just have to wait until tomorrow – forecasts in Florida change that rapidly this time of the year.

Qualifying for both the FIA-WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech Championship contenders has concluded, and both series are ready to go racing.

Here is how the FIA-WEC teams will line up in each class: On pole (of course) is the Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1-H, with the pole car being the #8 entry, piloted by Buemi, Nakajima and Alonso (yes, that Alonso). They are over two seconds clear of the top privateer LMP1 entry of SMP Racing, with the Russian entry piloted by Sarrazin, Orudzhev and Sirotkin. Look for Toyota to run away with the race (as ordained by the powers that be), unless factors outside of the organizer’s control take place during the contest. (One can only hope.)

In LMGTE Pro, Porsche took the pole, with the #92 911 RSR of Christensen and Estre on top of the field, with the Ganassi Ford GT entries close behind.

In LMGTE Am, Porsche is also on point, with the Dempsey/Protron Racing entry of Ried, Andlauer and Campbell at the head of the field.

The FIA-WEC race gets underway today (Friday) at 4pm and will conclude by Midnight. Whew – quite the long day for us as well as the drivers. Of course, we will be at it all day tomorrow once again for the Mobil 1 12 Hours, while a few of the FIA-WEC drivers will be pulling double duty as well.

In the 12 Hour race, Dane Cameron put the Penske Acura DPi on pole. He will be sharing the Acura during the race with co-drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud.

In GTLM, Porsche put their 911 RSR on pole, duplicating the pole for the factory in the FIA-WEC race. Patrick Pilet piloted the Porsche during the pole run and he will share driving duties with Nick Tandy and Frederic Makowiecki.

In GTD, the #86 Aura NSX-GT3 Evo of Farnbacher, Hindman and Marks will be starting up front, and finally in LMP2 (where there are only two entries here at Sebring), the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA nipped the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry on the last timed lap and will head the LMP2 field. Matthew McMurry and Gabriel Aubry will lead the way in the PR1 entry.

So, stay tuned, much more action is to come from the normally sleepy town of Sebring as the biggest weekend of many a year gets underway with the FIA-WEC race later today and the 12 Hours tomorrow.

We will be here until it is all over.

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