Sebring test: Thursday nuts and bolts

February 23, 2018

Sebring test: Thursday nuts and bolts

February 23, 2018

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship ran for a full 10 hours on Thursday at Sebring International Raceway. Teams ran a pair of four-hour sessions and one two-hour session at night. Here are a handful of notes, nuggets, nuts and bolts from the first day on-track.


BMW has added a new young talent to its roster. Colton Herta, who turns 18 in March, has joined BMW’s Junior driver program and will serve as BMW Team RLL test and reserve driver. We’ll do more on the son of past IndyCar and sports car driver, and two-time Indianapolis 500 winning team owner Bryan Herta, in a separate post.


Former Major League Baseball pitcher CJ Wilson has laid the groundwork for his sports car team’s success with multiple championships in support categories over the last half dozen years, and has now made the leap up to the major leagues.

Wilson’s team announced Wednesday during Midweek Motorsport it will run a partial season in the WeatherTech Championship. Marc Miller and Till Bechtolsheimer will share the No. 36 Acura NSX GT3 at the Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans races, with other races and drivers to be revealed later.


This may be something to pick up on before the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring occurs next month. Among Michelin technical partner teams, the BMW Team RLL and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing teams have both cars testing here this week. Meanwhile Corvette Racing and Porsche GT Team are only running one apiece. Risi Competizione Ferrari’s single car completes the seven-car GT Le Mans lineup this test.

While Corvette has the No. 4 C7.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler present, Porsche has opted to put one driver from each of its two cars in the same car. Nick Tandy comes over from the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR to share the No. 912 car this test with Laurens Vanthoor.

Testing is crucial from a data gathering standpoint, and it will be interesting to see what Porsche and Corvette have learned with one car this test compared to the teams who have both cars here.


Add Billy Johnson (No. 66) and Tony Kanaan (No. 67) to the pair of Ford Chip Ganassi lineups at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, as third drivers in the FIA World Endurance Championship cars. The remaining lineups had already been announced. Ford’s full Le Mans breakdown is below.


Joey Hand has cast his lot in for “coolest selfie of the week” award, with one captured at Turn 17 during Thursday’s first session as co-driver Dirk Mueller drove past in the No. 66 Ford GT.


Thursday’s sessions offered a great opportunity for teams to simulate race day at Sebring, with temperatures both ambient and on-track likely close to race temperatures next month.

Here are the updates from Thursday per our Michelin engineers, as this included a night practice for the first time.

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Monday March 19, 2018