Sebring: BAM! preview

Sebring: BAM! preview

BAM! is set for its American Le Mans Series debut, in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The experienced British/American crew will field the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS for Leo Hindery, Jr. of New York, Peter Baron of...

BAM! is set for its American Le Mans Series debut, in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The experienced British/American crew will field the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS for Leo Hindery, Jr. of New York, Peter Baron of Deerfield Beach, Fla. and Mike Rockenfeller of Neuwied, Germany. The March 20 race will be Rockenfeller's first start on the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway road course in Sebring, Fla.

Hindery is ready. "After what seemed like a very long winter of accelerator-foot malaise, we are back at Sebring which - if Le Mans is the heart of our sport - is our sport's soul," he said. "Just think what my emotions would be if we had ever actually done well here! Racing at Sebring is such an honor. This year, we will be trying to finally give it its proper due."

Leo's laps

Hindery has generously offered to share his racing knowledge at ALMS tracks this season. His Sebring insight:

"At last October's Petit Le Mans, I got to teach my new co-driver, the brilliant young Mike Rockenfeller, the secret to turns 10A and 10B [brake earlier than Hindery does]. Now, on his first visit to Sebring, I get to teach him about Sebring turn 17, which, if done badly, can cause a driver's hair (and nerve) to fall out. I hold the record for never going through turn 17 the same way twice in a race, let alone twice in a row, but the winter has given me a clear visual, which I plan to try out. I have asked Rockenfeller to watch me from near the turn and learn - after, however, first alerting the medical team to similarly pay close attention."

fit to race

Mike Rockenfeller got an extra boost last month at the Porsche Motorsport fitness camp in Locarno, Switzerland. He and the other Porsche factory drivers trained six to eight hours each day for a week, including hours of running, cycling, weights and agility training.

"It was good for team spirit," Rockenfeller noted. "It was hard, but good preparation for the season. We are all fit and everyone knows that's very important, especially for Sebring. I heard it's harder than Le Mans - 12 hours at Sebring is like 24 hours at Le Mans."

second shot

Peter Baron will introduce a new slingshot at Sebring. His giant slingshot, made of strong rubber tubing, has become a Le Mans tradition, as he catapults thousands of t-shirts across the track to fans in the grandstands. He says the slingshot now is ready for U.S. tracks.

"Our results from pre-season testing have shown our accuracy and distance have both been improved by more than 50 per cent," he said. "We're confident we can reach new groups of fans, which has never been done before with ordinary surgical tubing."

-bam/sp-

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