Sebring in Photos

Some photos I took which I think capture the essence of the weekend. I will post more on The Pit Window facebook page over the next few days.

Sebring’s history-race cars and airplanes
Toyota Gazoo-1,2 aWEC traditon
Turn 7 at night- Glowing rotors and loud turbo popping
I love the front of the BMW GTP
Twilight time

Off Road Excursions

From earlier:

Sebring weekend wrap up

Sebring Weekend- Late Drama in a Caution -Filled Race

Sebring Weekend- Late Drama in a Caution -Filled Race

It’s always great to return to civilizationafter a weekend at the 12 Hours of Sebring. A usual, the race didn’t disappoint with late drama, problems for the strongest car, huge crowds, and warm weather.

I was fortunate to connect with my friend George Butz, who graciously allowed me to share hus campsite. George is a seasoned Sebring veteran. This was my sixth Sebrinbg, but first since 2019. I felt that this year I really learned the track with George’s guidance. I discovered several new vantage points.

When I return next year, I will have a better idea of how and from where to watch the race.

The drivers probably don’t want to see me at a corner, as I witnessed htree cautions, including the big obe at the end, and several other spins. The three car crash near the end of the race was probably the worst IMSA crash i have ever seen. It looked a lot worse than it turned out to be.

The number 6 Penske Porsche is lifted onto a flatbed truck. Jaminet walked to the ambulance under his own power.

The race was very disjointed with the frequent yellows. In some ways it was like a longer version of Indycar at St. Pete. Like St. Pete, the race produced a dramatic ending.

Cadillac Domination

The winning number 31 Cadillac won the pole, but the Ganassi Cadillac dominated the middle part of the race. Scott Dixon ran the 01 out to a big lead. Mis fortune struck just before the nine hour mark when an engine fire ended thier day.

Indycar Drivers Have Mixed Results

The Indycar drivers running this weekend had a mix3d bag of reseults.

Scott McLaughlin was part of the winning tream in LMP2 with Tower Motorsports. The team also finished third overall. Indy NXT driver Kyffibn Simpson was also a co driver .

Kyle Kirkwood’s Vasser Sulivan Lexus team came home second in GTD Pro. Former Indycar driver Jack Hawksworth is a full time driver for the car.

The Meyer Shank entry which included Helio Castroneves ened the day 24th oiverall and sixth ib class. The car lost a wheel just after sunset and finished 21 laps behind.

As I mentioned, Scott Dixon and the Ganassi Cadillac was not running at the finish, They were credited with seventh in class, 47th overall.

Devlin Defrancesco, drivibng for Rick Ware in LMP2, was 7th in class, 41st overall.

Katherine Legge ended 12th in class in GTD, 36th overall.

Final Thoughts

Attendance had to be an all time high. I don’t think one more vehicle could have beemn shoehorned into the facility. I don’t recall seeing the track as crowded on Tursday as it was this weekend. My frieb=nd George, and one of his friends who attended his 25th coinsecutvee race, agreed with me.

The food court waqs greatly improved since 2019, boith in c=variety and quality of choices. Prices were not out of line with wha other tracks charge.

Sebring is IMSA’s Indianapolis 500. I will take no discussion on this. The Rolex is fun, but the atmosphere can’t compete with Sebring.

I enjoyed the WEC race. Between that and the 12 hour I got a preview of LeMans. I hope to go to France for that race next year. Sponsors welcome.

I will post some photos ina separate story ib a few minutes. If you’ve read this far, thanks.

Sebring Schedules and Notes

I am preparing to head to Sebring in a bit. I have not been able to attend this race for three years due to COVID and some other circumstances so I am very excited to get back to the race that has fascinated me since I was in 5th grade.

Rain chances for Saturday have diminished significantly, although there is still a chance near the end of the race,

The fun thing about Sebring weekend is that with the WEC 1,000 mile race on Friday, we get a decent preview of LeMans. I am anxious to see the WEC hypercars and see how they compare to the GTP cars of IMSA.

I will provide updates when possible. here is the weekend schedule. The full race is on Peacock Saturday beginning at 10:05 am Eastern USA will have coverage from 4:30 pm Eastern until the end.

The Schedule

Thursday, March 16

  9:15-9:55 a.m. — Race No. 1 – Porsche Carrera Cup

  10:10-11:40 a.m. — Practice No. 1 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  11-11:30 a.m. — Autograph Session – Michelin Pilot Challenge – Michelin Village on the Midway

  11:55 Am-12:55 p.m. — Free Practice No. 3 – FIA WEC

  1:20-3:20 p.m. — Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

  3:25-3:45 p.m. — Corvette Car Corral Parade Laps – First 100 Cars

  3:50-5:05 p.m. — Practice No. 2 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTD/LMP2/LMP3)

  4:05-5:20 p.m. — Practice No. 2 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTP/GTD Pro)

  5:35-6:15 p.m. — Race No. 2 – Porsche Carrera Cup

  6:30-6:45 p.m. — Qualifying – FIA WEC (GTE Am)

  6:55-7:10 p.m. — Qualifying – FIA WEC (LMP2)

  7:20-7:35 p.m. — Qualifying – FIA WEC (Hypercar)

  7:45-9:15 p.m. — Practice No. 3 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  Friday, March 17

  8:55-9:05 a.m. — Practice No. 4 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  9:15-9:30 a.m. — Qualifying – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTD/GTD Pro)

  9:30-10 a.m. — Autograph Session – FIA WEC – FIA WEC Paddock

  9:40-9:55 a.m. — Qualifying – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (LMP2/LMP3)

  10:05-10:25 a.m. — Qualifying – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTP)

  10:30-10:55 a.m. — Lexus Car Corral Parade Laps

  10:45-11:45 a.m. — Autograph Session – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – IMSA Paddock

  11:10-11:30 a.m. — Grid Walk Opening – FIA WEC VIP By Invitation Only

  12-8 p.m. — 1000 Miles of Sebring (or 8 Hours) for the FIA World Endurance Championship

  Saturday, March 18

  8-8:20 a.m. — Warm Up – WeatherTech SporsCar Championship

  8:25-8:45 a.m. — Porscheplatz Car Corral Parade Laps – First 100 Cars

  9-9:50 a.m. — Grid Walk and Driver Introductions – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  10:10 a.m.-10:10 p.m. — 71st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Fans Can Get Sneak Peek of ‘100 DAYS TO INDY’ No

  INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, March 15, 2023) – The first look at “100 DAYS TO INDY” was unveiled March 15, providing a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews that will feature in the thrilling new docuseries that premieres from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT Thursday, April 27 on The CW Network

The link:

The footage was first shown this week at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, during a panel discussion with NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward and “100 DAYS TO INDY” director Patrick Dimon.

Produced by Penske Entertainment and VICE Media Group, the six-part series will take fans behind the scenes to chronicle the bold and brash personalities of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as they begin the 2023 season and start their quest for racing’s greatest prize: the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 28.From the balmy high-speed turns of St. Petersburg, Florida, to the demanding banked oval in Fort Worth, Texas, and the sun-swept streets of Long Beach, California, every mile is an epic moment as “100 DAYS TO INDY” takes viewers into the driver’s seat for unprecedented access to top NTT INDYCAR SERIES stars.

The series will showcase all the intense preparation, relentless competition, a few pranks and plenty of speed before the green flag drops and more than 300,000 fans roar at the world’s largest single-day sporting event.

Produced by multiple award-winning VICE World News, “100 DAYS TO INDY” is directed and co-executive produced by Emmy Award-winner Dimon and executive produced by Bryan Terry for VICE. Adam Marinelli serves as showrunner and co-executive producer, and Falguni Lakhani Adams is executive producer for VICE TV. “100 DAYS TO INDY” is distributed globally by Vice Content Distribution. 

Hunter-Reay Returns to 500

Dreyer and Reinbold Racing announced this afternoon that 014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay will return to the Indianapolis 500, driving the team’s car 23. Hunter=Reay, the 2012 series champion, returns after not driving in the race in 2022.

There are now 33 confirmed entries with drivers.

The team announcement from rom Ryan Hunter-Reay via Twitter:

Indianapolis 500 Pole Winner Carpenter To Unveil Bronze Badge March 16  

From IMS:

  To celebrate the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, three-time “500” pole winner Ed Carpenter will unveil the 2023 Bronze Badge at 11:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday, March 16 at Stout Field in Indianapolis, the Joint Forces Headquarters of the Indiana National Guard.

This year’s design features iconic scenes from the Indy 500’s pre-race traditions.

Fans can purchase a Bronze Badge, which allows them access to Gasoline Alley on selected dates during the Month of May. Bronze Badges will be honored for gate admission and garage access May 12, May 16-22 and May 26-27 during public gate hours and as directed by IMS personnel (Race Day tickets are required on May 13 and May 28.).

Bronze Badges are available now at

WHO: Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Owner/Driver

WHAT: Unveiling of 2023 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Bronze Badge

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. ET, Thursday, March 16

WHERE: Stout Field, 2002 S. Holt Road, Indianapolis, IN 46241  

Harvey Not Cleared to Drive; Some Other Notes

Jack Harvey, injured in a crash during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 5, has still not been medically cleared to drive. The driver of the number 30 car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will miss today’s team test at Barber Motorsports Park.

The nature of the injury is not known, but I believe it has something to do with his wrists.

Juri Vips, a former F2 driver, will fill in today. Harvey will be reevaluated before the Texas race. In 2022 he missed the Texas race after suffering a concussion in the final practice.

Harvey was rumored to be in a make or break year, and the injury and missing time in the car is not helping his cause. Vips also tested with the team last October.

Albert Whitted Airport Getting Another Look

The airport in St. Petersburg is getting another look by the mayor’s office for a possible conversion to another use. When Ken Welch became mayor two years ago, surveys were conducted to see if the city could make better use of thland. Now, the process is beginning again. One of the runways serves as the front stretch and pits for the Grand Prix.

Photo from Tampa Bay Times

The race has just extended its agreement with Indycar for two more years. It will take at least that long for any plans to surface, so I wouldn’t be concerned just yet.

The front stretch (R) is a runway at Albert Whitted Airport the rest of the year

I remember the first time this subject came up, something was mentioned about the FAA having a say in the matter. Stay tuned, but for now, we’re still racing in St. Pete.

Indycar Drivers at Sebring

This weekend’s Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring will feature five full time Indycar drivers and a driver entered in the Indianapolis 500. Three of the drivers are from Andretti Autosport- Devlin DeFrancesco in the number 51 LMP 2 car, Kyle Kirkwood in the Vasser-Sullivan Lexus number 14 GTD Pro, and Romain Grosjean in the number 3 Lamborghini, also in GTD Pro.

Scott Dixon will drive the 01 Cadillac GTP for Ganassi, and Helio Castroneves will drive for his Indycar boss, Mike Shank, in the number 60 GTP Acura.

Katherine Legge will drive car 66, an Acura NSX, in the GTD class.

I will have more Sebring coverage later this week.

Tickets Are Coming

From IMS:

O’Ward, Rosenqvist Help Send Blue Envelopes
of Indy 500 Tickets to Fans
INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, March 8, 2023) – The countdown to the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge reached another special moment as the highly anticipated blue envelopes featuring Race Day tickets were mailed Wednesday, March 8 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office. The initial ticket mailing also received some assistance as Arrow McLaren teammates Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, who finished second and fourth, respectively, in last year’s edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” were part of the festivities of shipping more than 150,000 tickets.

The shipments extend to all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 35 countries around the world as race fans eagerly await Indy 500 Race Day on Sunday, May 28. Both O’Ward and Rosenqvist also signed, sealed and sent a couple of envelopes to lucky fans that will set out for their respective homelands of Mexico and Sweden.

“I had no idea the process that it was for the physical tickets to get mailed,” said O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

“So, for me, it just screams and yells tradition, and the Indy 500 is all about tradition. I’m really happy that I got to do this, and I got to see what it’s all about. It’s not just a simple email. There’s a lot of meaning to that ticket. People collect them. People have them at home. They keep them at home, and I think that’s very special.”

It takes approximately nine weeks to package all pre-ordered tickets for mailing, from orders the day after the previous year’s race up to current orders. Hard work from employees in the Ticket Office and other Penske Entertainment Corp. departments ensures the ticketing process runs smoothly and on schedule.

A few facts and figures about this year’s initial ticket mailing:

Number of tickets sent: More than 150,000 Race Day tickets (includes Race Day tickets, parking, concert tickets, etc.)

Number of blue envelopes sent: More than 25,000

Number of U.S. Postal Service trays to accommodate envelopes: More than 580

Weight of all ticket envelopes and trays in first mailing: More than 5,000 pounds

Hours needed to fill envelopes by hand: More than 880 person-hours

Number of working days to package envelopes: 43

Number of Penske Entertainment employees who fill envelopes: 43

Number of states distributed: 50

Number of countries distributed: 35 (including the United States)

Federal postal inspectors came to IMS with a large truck for the first mailing. O’Ward and Rosenqvist joined several IMS employees in helping load the trucks.

“Oh, it’s the most physical labor I’ve done in a while,” said a smiling Rosenqvist, driver of the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. “It’s pretty awesome. It’s a lot of tickets. When you go into that room, you’re like, ‘Wow.’ It gives you perspective on what a big event the Indy 500 is.

“It’s pretty cool to put a little personal touch to some of the envelopes and just being here with everyone from IMS just helping out. Sometimes you take for granted everything behind the scenes, but just a thing like mailing out the tickets is such a huge project, and I’m happy to be part of it. It’s cool; 81 days out, we’re getting closer.”

Receiving an eagerly awaited blue envelope in the mail is a rite of spring for thousands of fans of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” But why are the envelopes blue? In the 1970s, Indianapolis 500 tickets were mailed in brown envelopes with the IMS return address in the upper left corner. In the 1980s, a heavier-stock, gray-colored envelope was introduced to mail the tickets, with just the IMS Post Office box number in the upper left corner. A computerized printer also was used for the first time in the 1980s to print ticket customers’ name and address on each envelope.

When the NASCAR Cup Series was added to the IMS schedule in 1994, the Ticket Office needed a way to distinguish between the envelopes containing tickets for the Indianapolis 500 and the annual NASCAR race, especially if the Postal Service returned the envelope as non-deliverable. So, the IMS Ticket Office decided to color-code the ticket envelopes for each event. Indianapolis 500 ticket envelopes became blue, Brickyard Weekend envelopes became purple, GMR Grand Prix envelopes became green, and ticket envelopes for other IMS events use a variety of colors, including red, cream, gray and yellow.

Tickets for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 28, the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 13 and all other Month of May events are available at or via the IMS Ticket Office at 317-492-6700.  

Racing Gear Manufacturer K1 RaceGear, IMS Announce New Partnership  

From IMS:

  INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, March 7, 2023) – K1 RaceGear, a leading manufacturer of professional-level racing safety gear and apparel, announced March 7 a new promotional partnership with Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As part of this multiyear partnership, K1 will supply fire suits for IMS Track Rescue, Recovery and Medical staff.

K1 already supports many drivers and teams who compete at IMS throughout the year in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, NASCAR and IMSA. More fans also will be introduced to IMS and its full season of events through 60-plus K1 Speed karting centers worldwide.

“Ensuring the safety of our medical personnel and safety team is a priority,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said.

“These dedicated individuals provide care to drivers and spectators at IMS, and K1’s innovative gear is an important component of the safety work they perform during our events.”
Founded by racers, K1 RaceGear has been a leading manufacturer of professional-level racing gear – including suits, gloves, shoes and more – for nearly 20 years. During this time, the American company has gained a reputation for exceptional quality, comfort, durability and safety. Winners and champions across various top-level motorsports choose to wear K1 RaceGear products, earning the company its slogan, “Winners wear K1: The Brand of Champions.”

“There is nothing bigger in motorsport than the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Jacob Brown, K1 RaceGear director of motorsports and marketing.

“IMS’ commitment to safety and innovation aligns perfectly with K1 RaceGear’s mission, so we’re proud and excited to be a part of the IMS family for years to come. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.” For more information, visit