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

Pagenaud Leads Meyer Shank Sweep of Sebring Day 2

Photo: Mike Levitt -Lumen

Meyer Shank Racing seems to have taken it upon themselves to uphold then honor of the older drivers,. 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud had the fastest time Tuesday in the second day of testing at Sebring International Raceway.

Four time and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves had the second fastest time, giving Meyer Shank Racing the top two spots on the chart.

Last year’s wave of young drivers may still grab most of the attention in season, but Pagenaud and Castroneves may have something for them.

Defending NTT Indycar Series champion Alex Palou was sixth fastest Tuesday.

2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood was the fastest rookie Tuesday with the fifth quickest lap.