The 2015 Sebring 12 Hour Race brings joy to Corvette racing fans
The # 5 Action Express DP qualified on the pole and won the race driven by Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sébastien Bourdais. A Cheve powered prototype sports car won Sebring overall for just the second time since the Jim Hall and Hap Sharp exotic Chaparral 2 won a rain-drenched race fifty years ago. Cheve finished 1-2-3 with # 90 SDR Flis Racing and # 10 Wayne Taylor Racing coming 2nd & 3rd.
The # 3 Corvette Racing Team qualified 3rd in the GTLM class and won driven by Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe. The # 4 sister car contended for 10 hours but retired because of a broken throttle return spring.
The # 5 Action Express C7 DP Corvette extends its remarkable streak of completing every lap, now over a string of 12 races from the start of last season on its way to winning the 2014 USCR championship. Preparation, setup and reliability come from team owner Gary Nelson and his years of NASCAR experience. 2015 looks even stronger with sponsorship from Mustang Sampling, (oil and gas testing equipment) and with resources from team car # 31 Whelen (world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of emergency lighting).
Racing luck figured in the # 3 GTLM Corvette’s victory. The team of factory-backed Porsches started from the first row and ran up front for 11 hours. On the final pit stop, the crew of Porsche # 912 botched the left rear tire change. That miscue was followed by the Porsche # 911 getting stuck in top gear. The # 3 car crew of Dan Binks executed pit stops and strategy perfectly all race long, pressuring the leaders for the chance to win. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. The fastest car does not always end up first in an endurance race.
2015 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship
Sebring Preview and Corvette teams
Story and Photos by Matthew Boyce
The 2015 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship series took to the famed airport circuit for the 63rd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. It marks the second race of the season and the second round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. This race, like the Rolex 24, determines which cars and teams carry momentum into the rest of the season. After an exciting Rolex 24, the Corvette Racing teams look to continue their great start. Corvette Prototypes placed second and third overall at the Rolex 24, while the # 3 GTLM Corvette won its class.
The ultra-competitive Prototype class has weathered a fair share of criticism since last year’s 12 Hours of Sebring. With IMSA trying its best to level the competition between the Daytona Prototype and P2 style cars, the sanctioning body came under a lot scrutiny during the 2014 season. Their “balance of performance” rulings are supposed to create close competition, not only for the Prototype class, but in all classes. Last year’s 12 Hours of Sebring was hardly fought with several teams leading throughout the day. One can only hope for the same competition this year.
Last year the # 5 Action Express Corvette qualified on the pole and led a large portion of the race. However, late race caution periods and some stellar driving by other teams saw the # 5 finish third. The same held for the # 3 and # 4 Corvette C7.R’s. Both cars led at portions of the race, but late race cautions, off course excursions and mechanical issues dropped both cars out of the race late.
Let’s take a look at the Corvette Racing entries for the 2015 12 Hours of Sebring:
Action Express Racing #5 - Drivers: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sébastien Bourdais
Wayne Taylor Racing #10 - Drivers: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelleli
Whelen/Action Express Racing #31 - Drivers: Eric Curran, Dane Cameron and Max Papis
Spirit of Daytona/Florida Fresh Racing #90 - Drivers: Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller
Corvette Racing #3 - Drivers: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe
Corvette Racing #4 - Drivers: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Simon Pagenaud
Next Race: Long Beach, Saturday April 18
About the Registry of Corvette Race Cars:
The Registry of Corvette Race Cars offers online at your fingertips the world’s largest resource of data and photos for Corvette race cars exclusively. Our research, database and photos strengthen our mission to preserve the heritage of Corvette race cars that keeps the Corvette legend alive. Corvette Racing fans have our commitment to share the best Corvette information, photos and data, organized by every year of Corvette production and every series in which Corvettes were raced - pro, club, vintage, historic and international. In 2014 we began publishing race round-ups for the country’s most popular racing series, including the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, Trans Am, FIA sanctioned Le Mans, ADAC-GT and GT Open series, SCCA Club Racing Runoffs and major Vintage Races.
About the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship:
The TUDOR United Sports Car Championship is the premier sports car racing series in North America. Sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), the TUDOR Championship resulted from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.