Sebring: The Racer's Group halfway notes

At the halfway mark of the 52nd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the three Porsches of The Racer's Group sat 9-10 in the GT field. Bad luck in the form of a push off the track by a Dyson Lola prototype ended the day of the ...

At the halfway mark of the 52nd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the three Porsches of The Racer's Group sat 9-10 in the GT field. Bad luck in the form of a push off the track by a Dyson Lola prototype ended the day of the #67 Flamingo Resort/TRG Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in hour four of the race.

Car #68, driven by Iain Donaldson, Gregor Fisken and Piers Masarati, is as of the time of this writing running in 9th position. Masarati, one of three Scottish drivers fielding the car for the race, spoke about his first stint. "I was able to run a long time on my fuel load," he said, "and a great car and engine allowed me to gain a number of positions on the field. I had a few great little dices with some of the other drivers, so I'm feeling good. I'm looking forward to getting back in the car and running it up the order a bit."

Car #66, driven by Cort Wagner, Kelly Collins and Porsche works driver Patrick Long, is currently running in 10th position. Long, who qualified the New Century Mortgage/TRG Porsche in 2nd position, started the race and quickly took the lead over from the factory #23 Alex Job Porsche. "Just after the start," he said, "I pulled up on Timo [Bernhard, driver of the #23 car] and let him set the pace. I was very comfortable there, and he eventually made a mistake, letting me by. I felt the tires start to go away, so I had to back off a little bit -- I didn't want the tires to go away completely."

After Cort Wagner took the wheel for his first stint, the car developed a shifting problem, which was later revealed to be a broken shift cable. Replacing the cable cost the team nearly 30 minutes of racing, and set them back 13 laps to the class leader. Kelly Collins and followed by Patrick Long again have clawed the car back up the field, making up 3 laps on the leader through cunning pit strategy and fast driving, and at the sixth hour the team has regained top ten form.

Kelly Collins said, "My stint was broken up by a yellow flag, so it was more like two half-stints. With the new shift cable, the car is absolutely flying -- so we'll get back into the race and get Cort and Patrick some points for the season."

The #67 Flamingo Resort/TRG Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was ridden off the track at high speed by a Dyson Lola, and sustained significant damage to the rear end of the car. Driver Jim Matthews was unhurt. "Just was I was getting into turn 15" he said, "one of the Dyson cars got inside of me, hit me, and then rode me until I spun around."

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will continue to be broadcast live on Speed Channel until 11:00 pm, EST.

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The Auto Gallery, located in Los Angeles, California, specializes in selling Porsche, Ferrari, Audi and Maserati automobiles. As one of Southern California's largest sports car dealerships, the Auto Gallery has an extensive inventory and is the United States' largest Maserati dealership.

Safety and performance. That is what we are all about at CDOC, whether it's for a racecar or streetcar. And that's why both amateurs and professionals alike come back again and again. We are known for being trustworthy, knowledgeable and dependable.

Just one hour north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, you will find the Flamingo Resort Hotel & Conference Center, the Wine Country's fun, unique resort destination. Among the hotel's special features are its extensive amount of conference space for corporate and social events, a secluded garden area with a 25-meter heated swimming pool and outdoor spa, the world-class Montecito Heights Health & Racquet Club and The Spa.

The Racer's Group is a manufacturer and distributor of high performance Porsche parts, an engine and chassis building and tuning facility, a full service Porsche prep facility, and a professional race team. Additionally, they provide electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and "arrive and drive" services. The Racer's Group is based at Infineon Raceway, formerly Sears Point Raceway, in Sonoma, Calif.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Kelly Collins , Patrick Long , Jim Matthews , Piers Masarati , Gregor Fisken , Alex Job , Cort Wagner