LEITZINGER READY FOR TEST OF MAN, MACHINE Dyson Racing's Butch Leitzinger raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring for the first time in 1989. And he doesn't have very good memories, thanks for asking. "We lost the clutch. I know I...
LEITZINGER READY FOR TEST OF MAN, MACHINE
Dyson Racing's Butch Leitzinger raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring for the first time in 1989. And he doesn't have very good memories, thanks for asking. "We lost the clutch. I know I spun and had a flat tire," Leitzinger said on the grounds at Sebring International Raceway. "I was pretty sick of Sebring by the time I got out there."
It's amazing what a class win can do for one's perspective on a circuit. Leitzinger won the GTU class the next year in a Nissan 240SX. He hasn't won since but is hopeful of returning to Victory Circle at this year's 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. He will team with Marino Franchitti and Andy Lally in the team's No. 20 Porsche RS Spyder.
"Yep, the next year made up for a lot," he said. "After that, I quite liked it actually. It really is an amazing place, certainly a throwback. Endurance racing is supposed to test the limits, and Sebring tests both man and machine.
"Twenty years ago, you came here and if you spent 10 minutes on a repair during the race, you were pretty fortunate. The cars now are so well built, and a lot of that has to do with advanced engineering that is available for everyone. Used to be, you and your friends would hold your thumb up in the air and say, 'That should last for 12 hours.' Now you have people who are on the ball and testing these cars for hour after hour, and if you have a problem you won't be able to recover."
The 2008 American Le Mans Series season opens with the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 15. The race will start at 10 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live by SPEED, which will begin its coverage at 9:30 a.m. MotorsTV, SPEED Latin America and Greenlight Television will provide international coverage as well. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com.