Corvette DP closes out Sebring test on top

Kimber-Smith Leads Three Out Of Four PC Sessions For 8Star Motorsports

SEBRING, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2014) – The No. 5 Corvette DP from Action Express Racing continues to build momentum in the early stages of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as Sébastien Bourdais drove the Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning machine to the top of the time chart on Friday for the second consecutive day at the Sebring International Raceway winter test.

The two-day test in preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida included 42 cars across four classes. The March 15 race is the second round of the TUDOR Championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

Bourdais – who last month co-drove to the Rolex 24 victory with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa – posted a best time of 1:52.488 (119.693 mph) around the 3.74-mile circuit. The lap was slightly slower than Bourdais’ best lap on Thursday of 1:52.480 (119.701 mph), but still kept him and the Action Express Racing team atop the chart as the two-day test concluded.

#42 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan: Olivier Pla, Gustavo Yacaman, Alex Brundle
#42 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan: Olivier Pla, Gustavo Yacaman, Alex Brundle

Photo by: Trevor Horn

“The car was not quite as good as yesterday,” said Bourdais. “We’ve been going through our test program, and seeing how the car responds to changes. It was not perfect today. Traffic was challenging, and the wind was not predictable. It was gusty and quite strong at times, and I went off twice. It looks like our car is strong, but this race is going to be a big challenge.”

The No. 42 Morgan/Nissan of OAK Racing shared by Gustavo Yacaman, Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle was second-quickest on the day in the Prototype (P) class with a lap of 1:53.230 (118.908 mph) in the morning session. The No. 42 led the fourth and final session of the day with a lap of 1:53.338 (118.795 mph). The No. 90 Corvette DP of Spirit of Daytona Racing co-driven by Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante was third on Friday with a best lap at 1:53.399 (118.731 mph).

The No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 in the hands of Tom Kimber-Smith led the Prototype Challenge (PC) class for the second consecutive day in the car he shared with Eric Lux. Kimber-Smith logged a best lap of 1:56.289 (115.781 mph) to lead his third of four sessions at the winter test. However, his time of 1:55.940 (116.129 mph) from Thursday’s first session that stood up as the fastest PC lap of the test.

#25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet: Enzo Potolicchio, Tom Kimber-Smith, Michael Marsal
#25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet: Enzo Potolicchio, Tom Kimber-Smith, Michael Marsal

Photo by: Trevor Horn

“This was the first time 8Star tested here in a PC, and to be quickest in three of the four sessions is very encouraging,” Kimber-Smith said. “This was a very good test. The track changed dramatically overnight. This test was important because I feel this is how the track will develop during race week. We’re in a good position for the race, and I’m looking forward to coming back in a few weeks.”

The No. 88 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09 shared by Doug Bielefeld and Sean Rayhall was second in PC with a best lap of 1:56.942 (115.134 mph). Starworks Motorsport was third in PC with its No. 8 ORECA FLM09 at 1:57.557 (114.532 mph) co-driven by Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande.

IMSA Communications

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Michael Valiante , Sébastien Bourdais , Joao Barbosa , Olivier Pla , Tom Kimber-Smith , Eric Lux , Renger van der Zande , Richard Westbrook , Mirco Schultis , Gustavo Yacaman , Alex Brundle , Michael Marsal , Sean Rayhall , Enzo Potolicchio , Doug Bielefeld
Teams OAK Racing , Action Express Racing , BAR1 Motorsports
Article type Testing report
Tags 8star motorsports, action express racing, corvette, sebastien bourdais, sebring, testing, tom kimber-smith, tusc