Sebring: The Racer's Group Wednesday practice report

The Racer's Group dials in for the 12 Hours of Sebring. Sebring, FL. -- Mar. 12, 2003 -- As the humidity rose at Sebring International Raceway today, The Racer's Group used two practice sessions to work out minor problems that surfaced on...

The Racer's Group dials in for the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Sebring, FL. -- Mar. 12, 2003 -- As the humidity rose at Sebring International Raceway today, The Racer's Group used two practice sessions to work out minor problems that surfaced on Tuesday. The three Monster Cable/Mail2Web Porsche 911 GT3RS es gained speed as the day went on.

Team owner and lead driver Kevin Buckler, driving his traditional #66, was optimistic about the race weekend. "Mechanically, we're in good shape, but as is always the case at Sebring, we're fighting the bumpy parts of the track. The combination of the old, bumpy parts and the new, smooth parts is tough to set up for, and we're not where we want to be just yet. We're confident, however, that with two days to go until the race, we'll be right at the front of our class. We've got more speed to gain."

Eliseo Salazar, co-driver of #66, was just getting his legs on the track. "This is my first time racing here," said Salazar, "and I'm learning the track. I'm starting to get a good feel for it, but both Jim Pace and Kevin have more experience here than I do. Today was my best day so far at Sebring, and I like the way setup is going for us. Today, we made the suspension stiffer, and it made a great difference. We still have time before the race, and I think that the organization is going to demonstrate its strength during the race."

Car #67, driven by Michael Schrom, Pierre Ehret and Vic Rice, had a similar day. Schrom, co-champion at the 2003 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, reflected on the day. "I feel like we're trying to catch up to where we were on Monday today -- we're just trying to get our balance going today. I think that tomorrow's practice will show great improvement, and given the history of this team, I'm not panicked yet. After all, this is the car that won Le Mans last year, you can't ask for better equipment than that."

Vic Rice, of Novato, CA, was getting accustomed to racing cars again. "It's been a while since I was in a race car -- since Petit Le Mans in October, lately. I've been doing a lot more karting, and turning my first laps today makes me want to get back in the car and go even faster. I'm very confident that we'll show more speed in the next couple of days."

Marc Bunting, Chris Gleason and Cort Wagner are driving car #68, freshly rebuilt after a big accident at Daytona, this weekend. Bunting, of Monktown, MD, was felt that progress was being made. "We're slowly working towards where we want to be. The setup's getting there on the car, but all the red flags in the second practice hurt us. Every time we got a good momentum going, the red would come out again. We'll get there."

Chris Gleason, of Johnstown, PA, was satisfied with the day's track time. "The track's a little slippery in some places, but once we put the right tires on the car, we're right on track for where we want to be. Once we get the shock and spring setup right, we're going to be pretty quick."

Thursday's action sees the three Monster Cable/Mail2Web practice in the morning, qualify in the afternoon, and then practice in the dark at 8 p.m. EST. The 51st running of the 12 Hours of Sebring takes place Saturday, March 15, at 10:30 a.m. EST. All 12 Hours of the race will be covered live in the United States on Speed Channel.

Monster is the world's leading manufacturer of high performance cables for home, car and professional use as well as computers and computer games. Monster Power®, a division of Monster Cable, provides AC power conditioning and protection products as well as a complete line of PowerCells.

mail2web is an Internet based email client that allows you to pick up your email from almost any POP3 or IMAP4 email server. Instead of offering another web based email service like Hotmail or Yahoo Mail, mail2web lets you use your present email account.

The Racer's Group is a manufacturer and distributor of high performance Porsche parts, an engine and chassis building and tuning facility, a full service Porsche prep facility, and a professional race team. Additionally, they provide electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and "arrive and drive" services. They are also the North American distributor of the UNICHIP, a fully programmable piggyback computer system that enhances the performance of streetcars and currently support approximately 130 dealers in the U.S. The Racer's Group is based at Infineon Raceway, formerly Sears Point Raceway, in Sonoma, Calif.

-trg-

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