Record breaking finish at Sebring

March 17, 2014

Record breaking finish at Sebring

March 17, 2014

sebring_podium 004The close level of competition in the the first Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on Saturday was highlighted by a record number of cars on the lead lap fighting for victory at the checkered flag.

Nine cars from the top Prototype (P) class finished on the lead lap, shattering the record of three lead-lap finishers recorded in 1990, 2008 and ‘11. The finishing mix included six Daytona Prototypes (DPs), which previously raced in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, fighting it out with three LM P2 cars designed under rules written by the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO), which organizes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

sebring_monday 021The Daytona Prototype of Marino Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas took the victory. A pit stop just prior to the final checkered flag gave them important track position for the final restart. Franchitti was able to hold off fellow Scotsman Ryan Dalziel in the run to the flag.

“I think it’s pretty close right now,” said Scott Sharp, who co-drove the No. 1 machine at Sebring with Dalziel and David Brabham to the runner-up spot.

“I’m sure there will be certain tracks that help one side over the other, so we will have to see as we go. We certainly expected to run better there because it’s our home track and we’ve done a lot of miles there. We had it pretty well set up. They’ve gotten the [balance of performance] much closer, at least in overall lap times.”

Finishing third was the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, ahead of two more P2 cars; the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan/Nissan and the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b/Honda from ESM.

“I think the two types of cars are definitely very even,” said Ricky Taylor, who co-drove the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP to a seventh-place result.

“At different parts of the race, different cars had advantages. It was interesting when you were out on track seeing which cars were doing what in the different corners – and that would change throughout the race. Sebring turned out to be pretty even, and hopefully it will be that way for the rest of the year.”

Competition was very close in the other TUDOR Championship classes as well. The GT Le Mans (GTLM) class had four cars representing four different manufacturers on the lead lap at the finish, led by the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

Second was the No. 93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R, followed by the No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE and the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GT.

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