Field begins LMP 675 title defense on Goodyears at Sebring. SEBRING, Fla. (March 12, 2003) -- The Mobile One 12 Hours of Sebring annually attracts one of the most diverse international fields in all of sports car racing. It is the oldest sports...
Field begins LMP 675 title defense on Goodyears at Sebring.
SEBRING, Fla. (March 12, 2003) -- The Mobile One 12 Hours of Sebring annually attracts one of the most diverse international fields in all of sports car racing. It is the oldest sports car race in North America and one of the toughest to win.
The classic endurance race is run at a sprinter's speed through unpredictable weather conditions by some of the best racing drivers and equipment in all the world.
Jon Field, the 2002 champion of the American Le Mans Series' LMP 675 class, knows how important tires are in the big race. His choice: Goodyear.
"The Goodyear people have been very good to us," Field said. "Those relationships are very important to me."
Field's team, Intersport Racing, will field two cars in the event: The LMP 675 prototype car Field will drive along with Michael Durand and Duncan Dayton and an LMP 900 prototype Clint Field, Jon's son, will co-drive with Rick Sutherland and John Macaluso. Both cars will race on Goodyear tires.
"Both cars are like new cars," the elder Field said. "Anything that can be done from an update standpoint has been done."
That includes the team's Goodyear tires. The tiremaker's rigorous off-season testing program has developed a new lineup for the cars in the LMP 675 class.
The elder Field said his team's focus will be on winning the class victory at Sebring, but many observers give the Intersport and Dyson Racing MGs a chance at the overall victory.
"I think Goodyear has come a long way in the development of the tire for this little car," Field said. "They've come up with a tire that is very competitive. I think it's going to show up in qualifying and in the race. We tested at Sebring and our time was under the existing pole speed from last year. The MGs are going to be strong."
Goodyear has won the overall victory 19 times at Sebring, best in the tiremaking industry. Five different auto manufacturers and 40 drivers have won at Sebring on Goodyear tires.
And, unlike some tiremakers that design and provide tires only for specific teams, Goodyear sells tires to all comers.
"As long as we know a team is coming and wants to buy from us, we'll make tires for them," said Bob Shaffer, marketing manager for sports car racing.
Field was the second driver in the last two seasons to win the LMP 675 class title on Goodyear tires. Didier de Radigues, the 2001 champ, will co-drive at Sebring with Chad Block and Chris Dyson in their Dyson Racing LMP 675 entry on Goodyear tires.
The 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring racecourse is as difficult to drive as it is famous. The racing surface is mostly flat and includes high-speed straights and low speed corners. The race is a supreme test of race tire technology.
And no tiremaker has a better record at Sebring than Goodyear.