Sebring 12 Hours
Robertson Racing Ford GTs pushing for top ten at Sebring
Despite an eventful opening eight hours that has seen both cars suffer issues, the Robertson Racing Ford GTs are still fighting for top ten positions in the competitive GT class as the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida enters its final third.
Starting the fourth hour of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron season-opener in 11th and 14th places respectively, the #40 and #004 cars made good early progress with Andrea Robertson and Colin Braun at the wheel.
Safety Car periods continued to disrupt the race and both crews took the opportunity to pit when yellow flags flew again, David Robertson taking over from his wife Andrea in car #40 and Anthony Lazzaro returning to the cockpit in car #004.
After strong stints from both drivers, the pit stops began again with Boris Said and Dave Murry taking over driver duties, but within just a couple of laps the #40 car endured a huge slice of misfortune as Said suffered a mechanical issue just as the pit lane closed due to another Safety Car period.
Said was forced to come in anyway due to a throttle linkage problem and although the team did a superb job in returning him to the track having lost just two laps to repairs, a penalty was incurred for stopping while the pit lane was closed.
The delay left the team’s cars just 30 seconds apart and on the same lap running in 12th and 13th positions, but catching the cars ahead. Said reeled in and passed the #98 Jaguar XKR for 11th, but following another Safety Car period and driver changes for both Fords, #004, with Braun at the wheel, moved ahead of #40, driven by Andrea Robertson, for the first time since the opening laps of the race as they run in 11th and 12th places.
Lee Penn (Chief Engineer): “The drivers have said that the balance of the car is reasonable. It is not as good as we would like but we are moving in the right direction and if we can continue to run at this pace we should hopefully make the top ten by the end of the race.”
David Murry (#004): “The car has been reasonable in the race. The balance is pretty good but the car is very sensitive to brake balance. A little too much front bias and we get understeer and too much rear bias, we lose the rear. If we get it just right, the car is pretty good for the stint as long as you don’t push too hard. We have not lost a lap since the starter motor failure so believe we would be running seventh or eighth without this problem. In general we are pleased with what we have but we still have some homework to do as we need to find some more speed.”
Boris Said (#40): “Once we sorted the throttle linkage problem, which cost us a bunch of laps, the car was pretty good. Our goal at this stage is to keep going, finish the race and get valuable seat time in order to learn as much as possible about the car.”
-source: robertson racing