All of the waiting and planning for the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series is finally over, and it's good to underway. Five transporters and 29 Barber Dodge Reynards left their base of operations to assemble in the first official paddock of the season.
All of the waiting and planning for the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series is finally over, and it's good to underway. Five transporters and 29 Barber Dodge Reynards left their base of operations to assemble in the first official paddock of the season. Well, they didn't really, "head out" so much as cross the track since round one of the Barber Dodge Pro Series takes place at their home track, Sebring International Raceway. Nevertheless, it was good to finally get back to racing.
Tuesday is the traditional test day for all of the participants in the Exxon Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring race weekend. Pro Series drivers took the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the full 3.7-mile circuit which in spite of all the pre-race testing is the first time they have run the full circuit this year, as the shorter south test circuit is the one used for testing.
All of the development that Barber Dodge Pro Series engineers put in over the off-season has already paid dividends as six drivers have already eclipsed the track record and a handful of other drivers nearly joined them.
The current qualifying record of 2:07.016 sec. set last year by Rocky Moran Jr. was decimated by Matt Plumb who recorded the best time of the day at 2:05.643 sec. Joining Plumb in the record breaking were Roger Yasukawa (2:05.857), Michael Valiante (2:06.326), Brent Sherman (2:06.653), Peter Boss (2:06.676) and Jon Fogarty (2:06.833).
"We're seeing the results of over a month and a half of development," said Series Engineer Louis D'Agostino. "We're using the newest iteration of Michelin tires introduced in the last two events of 1999 and together with all the work done to refine the chassis, we've taken a positive first step.
"All the guys are very happy with the car, and several have commented that they don't even feel the bumps (on the track surface), which says a lot on this track," D'Agostino added.
Practice continues Wednesday, Mar. 15 with qualifying set for Thursday and Friday, Mar 16-17, and round 1 of the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series on Saturday, Mar. 18 at 8:35 a.m. as a prelude to the 12 Hours of Sebring.