The military says that no plan of attack survives contact with the enemy. Ad agencies claim no plan of action survives contact with the client.
For race teams here at Sebring International Raceway, the detailed plans that each team arrived with a week ago have now met the realities of practices, testing, data collection, lap times and driver feedback as the race draws closer.
As a result, for many teams the plan is slightly modified. For others, the plan is a new plan.
For the defending champion Audi team, despite a bit of rain earlier in the week and a first lap off this morning, the plan always includes such matters.
The defending ALMS P1 champions from Muscle Milk Pickett Racing arrived at Sebring with a modified HPD ARX 03-c chassis intending to race the new Michelin “wide front” tire package used so successfully by Audi, Rebellion Toyota and the Toyota TS 030 Hybrid.
Despite topping the speed charts early in the week, the Muscle Milk squad has switched back to the traditionally sized Michelin front tires they raced throughout 2012.
Meanwhile, the Dyson Racing Lola P1 squad continues its switch to the Michelin wide front tire package after a year with a competitor’s wide front package.
In the P2 class, the late timing of the P2 entries has the Level 5 and Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD Honda prototypes working through fuel mapping and car sorting as they adapt to the Michelin “non-confidential” tires previously used in the ALMS PC class. Michelin has flown in an additional supply of “soft” compound PC tires, to provide the teams with medium and soft compound tire options for the race.
The DeltaWing is making its first appearances with a new team, drivers, engine and Bridgestone tires.
The entire PC field is getting its first taste of the Daytona Prototype Continental tires.
On the GT side of the paddock, there are some similar stories. BMW Team RLL is developing the new BMW Z4 GTE, integrating a pair of new drivers and managing a switch to Michelin tires. The SRT Viper squad returns to Sebring after a 12 year hiatus.
Paul Miller Raking continues to refine its Porsche with its new Michelin shoes. The Team West/Alex Job Racing is sorting its new Ferrari and Yokohama tires
Still, for some, like the Rebellion Racing Toyota in P1 and the Greaves Racing Nissan P2 team, the week is progressing according to plan.
The defending ALMS GT champions from Corvette Racing return with their entire package intact. The Corvette drivers played golf on Wednesday.