Respect The Bumps – Sebring 2022

WEC winning Alpine Hypercar. [Jack Webster photo]

WEC winning Alpine Hypercar. [Jack Webster photo]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

We have been reporting on and respecting the bumps at Sebring for longer than we can remember. Eddie has driven in races here, and Jack was the Team Manager for a Camel Lights Porsche team in the 1980’s (and won class in 1987). So, when we say, respect the bumps, we know of what we speak.

The 2022 edition of ‘Super Sebring’ was just that – Super. It offered the combined racing of the FIA-WEC 1000-mile (or 8 hour) race on Friday and the IMSA WeatherTech Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday.

The pictures tell the story of Sebring 2022. It was close racing, great cars and drivers and an outstanding crowd. It was nice to see such a large crowd with things opened up again after the pandemic of the past couple of years and it was a relief to be able to walk around and talk to people without having to wear a mask all the time.

The Alpine team, with their Hypercar, won the WEC race overall on Friday, which was shortened due to impending weather (lots of wind, thunder and lightning). Also of note, Porsche took victory in the GTE PRO class, while Aston Martin finished 1-2 in the GTE AM class. United Autosports USA took LMP2 honors with their ORECA.

Finishing second overall was Toyota, which had a forgettable race, with Jose Maria Lopez flipping one of the Toyota Hypercars onto its roof after suffering a cut down tire and then not respecting the bumps on his way back to the pits.

Of particular note was the US debut of the Glickenhaus Hypercar – made in the USA and campaigned by James Glickenhaus. It was a David vs Goliath effort (as in Glickenhaus vs Toyota) and they came in third overall. They were likely looking at a second-place finish, for when the race was stopped due to weather, Romain Dumas was behind the wheel of the Glickenhaus, taking seconds per lap off the lead of the Toyota in front of him.

In the IMSA race on Saturday, it was Cadillac pulling off the victory with Porsche castaways Earl Bamber and Neel Jani along with Alex Lynn taking the win for Chip Ganassi Racing. Seems to us like sweet revenge for the former Porsche duo, who were cut lose from the Porsche stable after last season. It was a General Motors sweep, as Corvette took top honors in the GTD PRO class. Ironman Ben Keating (who also drove in the WEC race the previous day) won LMP2 in the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Wynns sponsored car (best looking car on the grid, in our opinion). Ferrari grabbed GTD as Cetilar Racing took class honors with their Ferrari 488 GT3 and the popular Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier took LMP3 (the car that is painted like an American flag).

So, all in all, large crowds enjoyed great racing and mostly great Florida weather (it was sunny and hot on Saturday, after the Friday night storms).

The great Jacky Ickx was Grand Marshall for the 70th Anniversary of the 12 Hours of Sebring, and he seemed to be having a great time, meeting old and new fans as he circulated throughout the paddock all week. In addition to being Grand Marshall, he was inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame, along with Andy Wallace, David Hobbs, Stefen Johannson and Walter Cronkite (yes, that Walter Cronkite of CBS fame). Of course, our old friend David Hobbs made the crack that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame without ever winning the race. Never mind, David, it was well deserved. You came close many times and have been an outstanding ambassador for the sport throughout your entire career.

It was a Sebring to remember.

Next up: Long Beach.

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