Here's looking forward to todays Sebring 1000miles

Friday, March 15, 2019

In less than two hours from now the 2019 part of the World Endurance Championship's transitional 'Super-season' gets the green flag from the historic American race circuit in Sebring, Florida.

With most the teams having perched along the new secondary pit lane at the circuit for the last two weeks following a weekend of testing last week, this sixth round of of eight looks set to be a cracker in both GTE Pro and GTE Am with very little time separating the cars through four sessions of private testing last week, three Free Practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday before Qualifying last night.

In the factory driven world of GTE Pro, most of the sessions have seen all eleven cars split by less than one second and that continued into Qualifying except for a technical issue that was suffered aboard the #97 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage car of Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn and that saw them drop to the foot of the class for the start of the race. Their sister #95 car of Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim and a returning Darren Turner are just ahead of them on the grid but less than a second off the pole setting Porsche's time.

GTE Pro is setting itself up to be another cracking race where the elongated race length of up to eight hours around a unusually bumpy track (for the WEC calendar so far) as well as running into the night will of course generate its own issues for some.

For both Ford and Porsche have clearly found a 'box full' of pace from a bag somewhere from within the boot of their cars so their ultimate pace is not so clear.

In GTE Am, the performances of he #98 factory supported car of Paul Dalla-Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda have been strong all through the test and into Free Practice where they were either fastest in class or just thousandth of a second off the top step. An unfortunate issue with contact during FP3 saw their Qualifying physiologically affected at least (if not mechanically) enough for them to start the race from P3 (rather than an expected higher position) behind the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche on pole and a rejuvenated Project 1 Porsche in P2.

For TF Sport, this race is their first experience of the circuit and they have clearly used the opportunities available to them during last weeks testing and this events earlier Free Practice sessions to develop their set up and lap times during the day. Drivers Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and a returning Jonny Adam's lap times throughout the event have been consistent to say the least just 0.7 seconds off pole.

For these two AMR GTE Am car runners, their main rivals remain the Porsches with Championship leaders Project 1 looking to have found some instant pace despite having to ship a new chassis into the country after their original car was destroyed by fire at last weekends test.

This race should be really enjoyable to watch - race starts at 20:00Hrs GMT

Photo credits - AMR / TF Sport 

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