Sebring Raceway, which originated from a World War II B-17 combat crew training base known as Hendricks Field, will host an endurance racing doubleheader on March 15 and 16 as IMSA and WEC descend upon the Florida track.
The 1000 Miles of Sebring and the Twelve Hours of Sebring on back-to-back days create a weekend like no other on the racing calendar.
So what can be expected? Veteran drivers from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing give their thoughts ahead of the action…
FCGR WEC driver Andy Priaulx: “Sebring is a great track that always produces a demanding and challenging race. It’s narrow, bumpy and hot and there is never enough room for everyone so you need to keep your concentration levels high. I was fortunate enough to win the 12-hour race there in 2011 (as teammate to Dirk Müller and Joey Hand) and it is a special event where the fans create a great atmosphere. It’s a tough track in the dark. You have to limit your mistakes and push hard to be competitive there but that’s what we do, right?”
FCGR IMSA driver Ryan Briscoe: “Sebring is one of those historic races on the calendar that everyone wants to win, and there’s extra motivation for us because we haven’t won there yet with the Ford GT. It will be a little different having our Ganassi European Ford GT team there for the WEC race, so hopefully we can all work together to help each other with set-ups and input as they race on Friday. But at the end of the day, the Twelve Hours of Sebring always comes down to race strategy and being in position to win those last two hours. We fortunately have some of the best in the business in terms of drivers and strategists, so we feel like we’re going to be one of the teams to beat for sure.”
FCGR WEC driver Stefan Mücke: “Sebring is a unique circuit, complete with bumps and a track layout that is partly on an old airfield. We had the chance to test there in February which was important as it gave us the first indication of what we can expect and showed us the areas where we need to improve. I have good memories of Sebring; it’s actually one of my favorite tracks. The race will be a challenge as it starts in the afternoon and finishes late at night so there will be a big temperature drop, which affects the balance of the car and tire choice. I can’t wait to get back in the car and get the season going again on a great track like Sebring.”
FCGR IMSA driver Joey Hand: “Sebring is always a challenge not just because of the distance, but also because of how difficult the track is. We’ve done a lot of testing there and feel good about how those tests have gone, but you have to be ready for a variety of different weather and track conditions during the race weekend. One of the keys is having a car set-up that can adjust from daylight into the night, so that you’re fast when the sun goes down. I do know one thing… this is an endurance race that has eluded us in the Ford GT program, and we want to change that this year.”