Tough Weekend at the 65th Running of the 12 Hours Of Sebring
Let’s be upfront: the 65th running of the 12 Hours Of Sebring didn’t turn out exactly how we’d imagined. There. We’ve said it. Now let’s take a moment to dissect the weekend.
For your starter course, may we suggest the inaugural race of the 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama? With our brand new 911.2 Porsche Cup Car, a cracking Championship season in the 2016 series, and a fresh win at the 2017 Rolex At Daytona, the team was feeling pretty good about the prospects of taking on the field of the 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama USA.
It was familiar territory, with many familiar faces making up the grid. Scott Hargrove formerly of Open Road Racing was there, now With Pfaff. So was Orey Fidani, a Gold Class Champion from a few years ago. Perhaps more interesting is that fact that most of the competitors in the field of 25 cars were under the age of 25—this is a young person game.
And a good thing too, as we have a young man driving our number 31 Porsche 911.2 Cup Car, Michael de Quesada. Michael qualified P7, which was not quite where we wanted to be; however, the team felt up to the challenge, and with 45 minutes ahead of them, and a solid strategy, we felt good.
Three laps into the race, Orey and Michael decided to get up close and personal, making contact exiting Bishops Bend, entering turn 15. Both cars spun, causing a full-course yellow. After the smoke had cleared, both Michael and Orey retired from the race.
To state the obvious, the loss of points is a disappointment. The good news was that the damage was repairable by the Alegra crew and the car would live to fight another day.
When the sun rose again over Sebring, the number 31 car was reworked and in fine fighting shape once more. The team wheeled the car back on the track for race number two. The green flag dropped and again the legendary and technically challenging track at Sebring started to chew up and spit out Porsche Cup cars left right and centre—might as well change the name from Sebring to The ‘Porsche” Kraken.
Michael managed to deftly manoeuvre his Porsche 911.2 cup car through the carnage and kept his nose clean. Mid-race found Michel pushing his cup car to the limit, eventually resulting is some early tire degradation, and he was forced to dive into the pits for a tire change. The lost time left the team behind the eight ball for the remainder of the race.
Exiting the pit, Michael pushed hard to make up lost ground crossing the finish line in P13, which is more than can be said of many of the other competitors.
On to the next.