The 12 hours of Sebring: Winners: Overall: Rinaldo Capello/Michele Alboreto/Laurent Aiello GTS: Goodyear's Franz Konrad/Oliver Gavin/Terry Borcheller (6th overall) GT: Lucas Luhr/Sascha Maassen/Emmanuel Collard (8th ...
The 12 hours of Sebring:
Winners: Overall: Rinaldo Capello/Michele Alboreto/Laurent Aiello
GTS: Goodyear's Franz Konrad/Oliver Gavin/Terry Borcheller (6th overall)
GT: Lucas Luhr/Sascha Maassen/Emmanuel Collard (8th overall)
Top-Five finishers: Capello/Alboreto/Aiello, Biela/Pirro/Kristensen, Kelleners/Schroeder/Wallace, Johansson/Smith, Goodyear's Field/Sutherland/Dayton
Tires: Goodyear Sports Car Racing Eagles
Comment from GTS winner: "This is a monumental and historic day for us as long as Saleen is concerned," said car owner Steve Saleen, whose team campaigns on Goodyears.
Details: The Audi team dominated the prototype class from the start, but Goodyear's Dyson Racing team spent most of the race in the top five before an overheating problem put them out after the midway point. Goodyear's Intersport Racing team finished fifth. The GTS class was a Goodyear show all the way as Konrad Team Saleen and Corvette Racing's two-car team battled for 12 hours and the teams filled the top three finishing spots.
Other: The racing world was saddened when endurance racing legend Bob Wollek passed away due to injuries suffered in a traffic accident while riding his bicycle near the race track.
The most competitive racing of the event featured the Saleen team and the Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon-driven Corvette battling for the GTS class lead. Goodyear tires led the entire 12-hour distance. In the end, a tire-based decision led to the Saleen team making up distance twice after a piece of body work came loose twice. The team elected to pit for fuel only, leaving its tires in place for two driving stints. "When we had the problem with the rear bumper, we had to go very hard," said Konrad. He added, "We were very happy with the tires. We did two double-stints. The tires worked through the two double stints."
"Goodyear has built a great tire," said Gavin. "They did a lot of the development work with the Corvette team and they were graceful enough to let us use the tire. The Goodyear tire is what makes the (Saleen) work well."
"It's unbelievable," said Steve Saleen. "The team and drivers didn't miss a beat. This is very historic. To win last week and now this week in another car, it's a great feeling."
The race set event records for average speed (113.983 mph) and attendance (168,000 for four days).
Chad Block won the Star Formula Mazda Series race prior to the 12 Hour race at Sebring. Block averaged 99.876 mph on his Goodyears, beating runner-up Scott Bradley by 1.894 seconds. But the ride of the race probably belonged to third-place finisher Guy Cosmo. Cosmo added to Sebring lore when he reported after the race that the legendarily bumpy track actually broke his glasses during the race. "It was so bumpy," said Cosmo, "that the pressure on the frames inside my helmet broke (his glasses). ... The straight-aways are so long that I would try to open my visor in hopes that the wind would straighten my glasses."
Jay Fogleman, racing on Goodyear tires, won the USAR Hooters Cup Series Jackaroo 250 on the half-mile oval at Florida Speed Park in St. Augustine, Fla. Bobby Gill, Steven Christian, Mario Gosselin and Hal Goodson finished in the top five. Christian started on the pole. Gill now leads the USAR Southern Division points standings.