What they’re saying: Sebring prep

March 14, 2018

What they’re saying: Sebring prep

March 14, 2018

Drivers and team members from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship preview this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Oliver Gavin, No. 4 Corvette C7.R: “Sebring for so many years was the start of our racing season. Now we have the Rolex 24 At Daytona, but physically Sebring is much harder. The physicality of the track, speed of the circuit and how the race unfolds is a big challenge.

“It’s the night, the lights, the bumps into Turn 17 and Turn One, braking for Turn Three, seeing where the sand comes on the track at turns Five and Seven… Turn 17 is one of the craziest and hardest corners on any track in the U.S. It’s a wide ride and that really sums up the Sebring circuit. You feel like you are on a bucking bronco the whole time and are trying at times to hang on a bit.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “(At Daytona) the car couldn’t show its true potential yet. That’s why BMW and IMSA will continue their productive and open talks and have agreed to find an appropriate BoP assessment for the upcoming events starting with Sebring, allowing the BMW M8 GTE to show its true performance for the benefit of the series, BMW and all of our fans.”

Rick Mayer, race engineer, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F488 GTE: “Based on last years ‘true’ performance potential and the BoP changes to this year, you’d have to favor the Corvettes followed closely by the Porsche’s, Ford’s and finally the Ferrari. The BMWs could mix this up once their true pace is shown.

“The weather could alter this ranking as the tire choices offered don’t suit every car the same; some cars run more relatively competitive in the hot and other on a cool track. We might not know the true performance until night falls in the closing stages of the race.”

Ryan Briscoe, No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: “We’re only one race into the season, so there’s a lot of work ahead of us. The competition is going to be tough. I think Sebring as always is going to be a true test. It’s one of the toughest tracks on the circuit for a lot of reasons.

“The racing is hard; it’s a long race. I hope we’ll be prepared enough to compete well, but I have no expectations it’s going to be easy.”

Earl Bamber, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR: “Since our memorable 50-hour test with the 911 RSR [prior to the 2017 season], I know every curb at Sebring. I’m really looking forward to this cool race with masses of fans and its great atmosphere.

“After Daytona, we’re obviously under a bit more pressure. However, we can’t afford to let that make us crazy. One decent result at Sebring and everyone will quickly forget about the not-so-convincing start of the season.”

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