SUNDAY AT SEBRING: PRE-TEST NOTES
The teams, crews and drivers have started to gather at Sebring International Raceway for the American Le Mans Series' annual Winter Test. It's a mix of the familiar and the new, evidenced by a stroll through the paddock.
- Three 2009-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs in sparkling white livery sit at Flying Lizard Motorsports, fresh from a few days at an Atlanta-area shop for preparation and review. The most obvious feature, of course, is the new air ducting on the Porsche's hood. It became necessary due to this year's ACO regulations mandating air conditioning units.
Porsche says 20 of the new RSRs are completed and being shipped to customers around the globe.
Flying Lizard's driving quintet will be Porsche factory pilots Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, along with Johannes van Overbeek, Darren Law and Seth Neiman.
- The canopy is down at de Ferran Motorsports with crew members (presumably) tuning the new Acura ARX-02a LMP1 entry. What are they hiding? We should know for sure in the morning when Simon Pagenaud and team owner Gil de Ferran take the wheel.
Next door, the sides of Patron Highcroft Racing are up with crew members working on both the front and aft of the prototype. The two teams are Acura's representatives in P1 for 2009 with David Brabham and Scott Sharp entered for this week's test.
- Robertson Racing's Ford GT-R is out and being prepped for its second year in the American Le Mans Series with drivers David Murry, and team owners David Robertson and Andrea Robertson. This will be the team's third season in the Series, and having the same competitive package in place for the second straight season should do nothing but help.
- Panoz Team PTG and BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team are sitting side by side in the paddock. That will makes it easy for PTG boss Tom Milner to check in on son Tommy, one of four drivers in the new BMW M3 (and vice versa).
- LG Motorsports and Primetime Race Group are the two most recent arrivals in the paddock. LG has its Riley-built Corvette C6 out and prepared for Monday. Primetime is bringing its Dodge Viper Competition Coupe back to Sebring, 10 months after Chris Hall and team owner Joel Feinberg finished fifth in GT2 in the 12 Hours debut for both.
Feinberg also will be testing his IMSA Lites DP02 later this week in testing for the upcoming IMSA Lites presented by Frisby Performance Tire championship season.
The American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for January 26-28 at Sebring International Raceway. Daily passes will be available for $10 with paddock access and overnight camping prohibited.
The American Le Mans Series will open its 11th season with the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 21. SPEED will televise the race live from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-11 p.m. ET. Live Timing & Scoring and American Le Mans Radio will be available at americanlemans.com.