Sonja Bayer, the class of Sebring race

SEBRING, FLA. - Sonja Bayer of Germany, in only her second race in the Women's Global GT Series, captured the circuit's season opener Friday at Sebring International Raceway, passing pole winner Divina Galica of Sebring on the eighth lap and ...

SEBRING, FLA. - Sonja Bayer of Germany, in only her second race in the Women's Global GT Series, captured the circuit's season opener Friday at Sebring International Raceway, passing pole winner Divina Galica of Sebring on the eighth lap and holding the lead to the end.

Galica finished second, followed by defending series champion Cindi Lux of Aloha, Ore., Milka Duno of Venezuela and Belinda Endress of Newbury Park, Calif.

Bayer finished third at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., last year in her only other series start. She averaged 85.669 miles an hour in the victory and won by 3.57 seconds over Galica.

"Divina told us this morning you could only pass here if somebody makes a mistake and I think that's where I got her," Bayer said. "I don't know if I can finish the season. I won the race and I hope to find a sponsor to keep racing here so I can contest the championship."

Ironically, it was Galica who helped "coach" Bayer earlier in the week before Bayer nailed down the second starting spot on the front row.

"When we first started on Tuesday, Sonja was about five seconds behind me," Galica said with a laugh. "I went into minute detail with a map with her on where to brake, where to turn in. I will never do that again."

The series, the first professional racing circuit for women drivers in North America, makes its second stop April 1 at Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Milka Duno , Belinda Endress , Cindi Lux , Divina Galica