Racing Blip: 2015 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

By | March 21, 2015

No. 57 Ligier JS P2 Judd

No. 57 Ligier JS P2 Judd

It is time, time for the 63rd annual running of the Twelve Hours of Sebring! A track as infamous as any in the world. A track where many teams will test in advance for other racing series and even before the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I’ve heard some have said that 12 hours of Sebring is just as grueling and tough, if not tougher, then the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Friday was qualifying and many were curious how the Prototype class would pan out with the latest in Balance of Performance (BoP) decrees handed down from IMSA officials. After watching qualifying of this class, all I can say is, either Sebring REALLY likes P2 cars, or the BoP has shifted in favor of the P2 cars. The No. 57 Ligier JS P2 Judd, piloted by Olivier Pla, took the top honors with a blistering 1:51.152. Besting last year’s fastest qualifying by almost a second! Finishing out the top 3 are the No. 1 Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-03b, with Ryan Dalziel behind the wheel, and then nearly a second later, the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.

Due to some live stream issues, I wasn’t able to see much of the other classes.

What I can tell you is that Porsche North America took 1st and 2nd in GTLM. The No. 3 Corvette C7.R, took the 3rd spot with 0.22 seconds behind the 2nd place No. 911 Porsche! And I should also mention that a visiting from the WEC, is the No.98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 running in GTLM. What is turning into typical behavior for GTLM, less then a second separates the top 7 cars.

A few things to look out for. Obviously the race in GTLM will be some of the best racing out there. GTLM will probably threat this as a 12 hour sprint race. Meaning, all the teams will be pushing “all out”, for 12 hours! As a bonus, look for the special livery BMW using on it’s cars. A throwback to Sebring racercars 40 years ago! In Prototype, those new Ligier P2 are proving themselves, but don’t discount the DP cars. This will be a tough one to call. But I’m leaning towards a P2 victory. The more nimble P2 cars seem to handle Sebring’s rough and tumble track better then their heavier cohorts in DP.

So how best to watch this 12 hour race?

Easiest thing to do is send you over to IMSA’s website for the explantation. IMSA is getting better at streaming, but not the quite the ease of use we had back in the ALMS days with ESPN3.

OR you can check out TUDOR/IMSA’s YouTube channel. They are good at posting the full race a few days after the event.

And a “Racing Blip” wouldn’t be a “Racing Blip” without the ever handy Spotters Guide.

Race starts today (Saturday 3/21) at 10:40am ET

[photo | IMSA]

1 Comment

RL on March 24, 2015 at 9:04 am.

Grueling race, Andy Lally said he’d rather race 24 hours at Daytona than 12 at Sebring.

I miss the ESPN3 days of broadcast. It typically streamed great on my Xbox.

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