FIA WEC – Drivers can't wait to hit the track at Sebring
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FIA WEC – Drivers can't wait to hit the track at Sebring

The start at the 1000 Miles of Sebring will be given in exactly 30 days, on 15 March. The excitement level is already off the charts for fans and competitors alike. Here, the drivers give their thoughts on the Florida circuit and describe the atmosphere during races there.

In just one month, competitors in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) will head to the legendary Sebring circuit in Florida for the 1000 Miles of Sebring, sixth round on the 2018-2019 FIA WEC Super Season calendar. American fans are looking forward to a huge endurance racing weekend with the Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts (second round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship) the next day. The drivers are excited to take on a track considered as bumpy as it is demanding.

The Sebring circuit (6.01 kilometers) is situated on the former site of a U.S. Army Air Force airport in use through the end of World War II. Today, it still borrows some of the concrete runways in place. This year is the first time since 2012 the FIA WEC will hold a race at the Sebring circuit, which is why championship officials were keen on getting drivers' opinions of the track.

"It’s a tricky surface and temperatures influence the level of grip a lot."
Andy Priaulx, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK's #67 Ford GT

Ranger van der Zande, driver along with Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley of DragonSpeed's #10 BR Engineering BR1-Gibson fielded in the LMP1 class: "It’s about keeping consistency high and driving around the bumps in a smooth way, I think that’s the way to win a race over there."

Gianmaria Bruni, driver with Richard Lietz of Porsche GT Team's #91 Porsche 911 RSR: "You have to really be at one with the car, be totally balanced and trust the car because it’s the only way to go faster on the bumps when your car is sliding everywhere." 

Andy Priaulx, driver of Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK's #67 Ford GT: "It’s a tricky surface and temperatures influence the level of grip a lot.  It can also be quite a tough track late at night in the dark as it’s not fully lit like other tracks."

Like at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Sebring has a wonderful reputation for its party atmosphere around the circuit. Harry Tincknell, teammates with Andy Priaulx: "It just has the feeling of a real event, one in which everyone is included and quite knowledgeable about the race and its traditions. There is really nothing like it, it’s so unique." James Calado, driver of Italian team AF Corse's #51 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, explains how American fans affect the 1000 Miles of Sebring: "The fans obviously make it special. It’s one of the best races for fans – they are all so passionate in America – and it’s going to be a great combination between our two series.  I think it will attract a lot of people and I’m looking forward to it…plus the Florida weather!"

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The start at the 1000 Miles of Sebring will be given Friday 15 March at 16:00 local time in Florida. Here is the latest provisional entry list.

Go to the official World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) website for more information about the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

After the 1000 Miles of Sebring, competitors will participate in the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (4 May 2019). The 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (15-16 June 2019) will serve as the finale of the 2018-2019 World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) Super Season.

 

PHOTO (Copyright - IMSA)