Sebring: Intersport Racing race report

Intersport Racing Attacks LMPC Class at Sebring 12 Hour With the remains of the team's LMP1 car on a trailer back to Dublin, Intersport Racing prepared to take on the new American Le Mans Series LMPC class. With an all-new car and driver...

Intersport Racing Attacks LMPC Class at Sebring 12 Hour

With the remains of the team's LMP1 car on a trailer back to Dublin, Intersport Racing prepared to take on the new American Le Mans Series LMPC class. With an all-new car and driver line-up, the team took the grid with an eye on completing the 58th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh from Florida. The driver line-up of David Ducote, Mitch Pagerey and Brian Wong fell just 50 minutes short of their 12 hour goal when the car succumbed to mechanical issues.

Throughout the 12-hour battle, Intersport's crew put up a relentless battle working through gearbox issues and other mechanical developments that appeared as the race endured. Like all LMPC teams, Intersport found themselves fixing as opposed to replacing as there was not an abundance of spare parts available for the Oreca FLM09. Not to be denied, the entire team, drivers and crew alike pushed on in championship fashion.

"Nothing can prepare you for the meat and grind that comes with running 12 hours at one of the toughest and hardest tracks in the world," said co-driver, Brian Wong. "Sebring is a true test of man vs. machine as I quickly found out. The toll that the car takes and the beating that the driver endures is like no other race I've experienced. From a personal standpoint though, my race was perfect. I learned so much, and feel I gained a lot of respect from my team and other drivers.

"Mitch [Pagerey] had stated the race with a single stint," continued Wong, "followed by David [Ducote] who did another single stint. I was third, doing a double stint. Seconds before the car came in, I was nervous, excited, and optimistic^a all at the same time. But once I got buckled in and out on track, racing and driving instances took over.

"I had never driven a race longer than a couple of hours, so Sebring proved to be a huge learning weekend," noted Wong. "And, not only for me, but for Intersport Racing and this new LMPC car. With mechanical issues forcing the car to behind pit wall several times throughout the 12 hours, our team and drivers never gave up. All of the guys at Intersport racing worked there butts off to get to the end."

"A new LMPC car and new team and drivers provided for quite a few challenges throughout the week," noted David Ducote. "The Intersport team, however, really stepped up and into the breach. They did an outstanding job. We overcame several mechanical issues over 12 hours and our drivers were able to remain competitive throughout the race. Everyone is extremely confident that we have the right ingredients for a great season. We all are looking forward to the next race."

"Twelve hours later, we are all starting to work well together," laughed Mitch Pagerey. "It was great working with my co-drivers, and I felt very little fatigue. Brian [Wong] a great asset to our team and I am truly impressed with him. The team is very good and I'm going to work as hard as I can to step up and meet the challenge we've put upon ourselves.

"The toughest part of driving these new LMPC cars is the car seems extremely sensitive to changes," added Pagerey. "Add to that the razor sharp margin for driver error, it makes for a lot of excitement in the cockpit. In the end it was good though.. and I didn't experience any issues in or with traffic.

"I was a bit surprised at some of the LMPC teams employing veteran elite drivers," Mitch said. "Brian and I will have our work cutout for us in order to get competitive. I know the team is working hard for Long Beach to find a setup that will allow us to drive the car harder with a little more confidence."

As reported earlier, the No. 37 AER-powered Lola B06/10 LMP1 race car got airborne and flipped several times on the straight between Turns 9 and 10 of the 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway circuit while testing for the race. It has since been determined the car experienced a failure to the right rear suspension while traveling in a straight line. Jon Field, who was driving the car, was taken to Highlands Regional Medical Center following an accident. He was released a few hours later with no reported injuries.

Intersport Racing is appreciative of the support from Lola, AER, Dunlop, Lenco Mobile and other long-standing partners. In addition, the team extends a heartfelt thank you to the Sebring International Raceway safety crew. Their response and professionalism is among the best in business and made a bad situation easier to cope with.

Lastly, Intersport Racing thanks our supporters and fans for all of the well wishes we received over the last several days.

The Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach is the second round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. The race, set at the historic Long Beach street circuit, is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 15 with coverage on SPEED set for 8 to 10 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius and XM. Visit the the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.

-source: intersport racing

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jon Field , Brian Wong , Mitch Pagerey , David Ducote