Xfinity champ Austin Cindric returns to sports cars at Sebring
Recently crowned Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric is going back racing – and returning to his previous domain of sports cars.
Cindric, 22, is set to compete in this weekend’s Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic Sebring 12 Hour presented by the Alan Jay Automotive Network at Sebring International Raceway.
Cindric clinched his first Xfinity title on Nov. 7 at Phoenix International Raceway with Team Penske. He will spend time Thursday through Sunday as a co-driver in the CRP Racing-prepared 2009 No. 2 Audi R8 LMS.
He will split time behind the wheel at Sebring with longtime family friend and supporter David Roberts.
A tribute race to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, the HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour celebrates not only the legendary race cars that have competed at Sebring over the last half century but also the rich military aviation history that first put Sebring on the map.
“I ran in the 12 Hours of Sebring with the Lexus GTD program in 2017 and I am no stranger to the track,” Cindric said. “I have done a lot of open-wheel races there, but it has probably been since 2017 that I have been there. I haven’t had the opportunity to go back until now.”
Roberts watched nearly all of Cindric’s Xfinity Series races this year, straight through the title-clinching finale in Phoenix.
“After Austin won the championship, we exchanged a number of texts and I asked him if he would like to get back into a sports car,” Roberts said. “He responded almost immediately that he would like to race at Sebring, so here we are.”
Roberts said when Cindric’s father, Tim Cindric, began looking of opportunities for Austin to get seat time in a sports car as his career was taking off, Roberts offered a ride in his Porsche 944 Turbo Club Sport.
“The HSR Savannah event was approaching and I felt that would be a great place for Austin to get his start in sports cars,” Roberts said. “Taking it easy because his sad told him to, he finished second in his first race on Saturday.
“On Sunday, Tim turned him loose and he won the second race of the weekend while earning the respect of his fellow competitors.”
Said Austin: “Without a doubt, Dave has always been an integral part of my career,” Cindric said. “I always joke and say Dave was the first person to ‘put a roof over my head!’ The first time I was in a full-bodied race car was in Dave’s Porsche 944 Turbo down in Savannah a bunch of years ago.
“For him to be able to trust me in that car at a young age was pretty unique. I was really nervous about not damaging the car but also some really cool cars I was sharing the track with. HSR
always brings out some really cool vintage cars and it was pretty special to be out there racing with them at such a young age.”
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