View Full Version : Sebring Pre-Race Report

Ross M
03-17-2006, 08:00 PM
The Audi R10 diesel is fast. Some 2 seconds quicker than the R8 on this 4+ mile track!

It is also almost silent. You can hear it when it leaves the pits, but after that it is below the track noise floor. If there is another car within a 100 yards, you never hear the R10. Eerie..


Uh-oh, Roger is in town:
You can just see the top of the RS Spyders above the pit wall.

Cruising the paddock, we find a very secretive Audi camp:

More to follow


Paul Pless
03-17-2006, 08:32 PM
awesome awesome awesome!!!

very much look forward to your updates.

Ross M
03-17-2006, 09:27 PM
The Binnie Motorsports Lola/Zytec LMP2. Note the "On Vacation" label over the passenger ( :D ) seat:

I think this is the business end of a Lola/AER LMP1:

One of two Penske Porsche RS Spyder LMP2s on hand, displaying the new 3.4 liter race V8:

Intersport Racing's Lola/AER LMP2:

Ross M
03-17-2006, 10:23 PM
One of the very fast and beautiful Aston Martin DBR9s. This one qualified first in GT1, it's stablemate - 007 - qualified second:

Parked adjacent to the AM team trailers was this stunning AM V8, with it's own trailer:

Ross M
03-17-2006, 11:10 PM
Unknown (to me) Spyker C8 Spyder. Looks more like a targa to me, but it's their call. Qualified midpack in GT2 alongside it's sister:

One of the Pratt & Miller (GM) Cadillac CTS-Vs that participated in a subsidiary race (I think it was Speed Challenge):

03-17-2006, 11:12 PM
All those expensive cars, and they rent their haulers from Ryder. :rolleyes: tongue.gif

Ross M
03-17-2006, 11:32 PM
To be fair, the Ryders are working an entirely different program. Looks like a rent-a-prepped-911-for-the-support-races thingy parked adjacent to the "subjects of interest" :cool:

I should have taken a few shots of Penske's Transporters, Tractors, Motor Coaches and Mobile Command Units :D

03-17-2006, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by Ross M:

I should have taken a few shots of Penske's Transporters, Tractors, Motor Coaches and Mobile Command Units :D I can just bet, $$$$$$$. tongue.gif

Ross M
03-17-2006, 11:50 PM
And if the Ryders offend, you probably want to avoid a visit to the infield. The track opens for camping on March 1st; sometimes the accomodations that can be arranged in two weeks are intricate, functional and unsightly all at once:

While other are pure fašade:

03-17-2006, 11:50 PM

Ross M
03-18-2006, 12:52 AM
There was some fairly interesting street equipment on display. One of the ones that caught my eye was this Noble 400, bearing Ohio plates:

The Beck 904. A good example of a great idea gone bad. While superficially pretty (at least in person) the wider cockpit, fender flares, wider-than-original tires and accomodations for flat-six power conspire to destroy the trim elegance of the original design. I imagine the adverse effects on the ever-important Fun:Risk ratio are significant:

Another classic shape, well executed but sullied - at least in my mind - by overly large diameter wheels and modern wheel offsets. Effective for improving skid-pad numbers? No doubt. Effective for improving the fun factor? I doubt it. Effective for improving appearance? No way.

At least the rear aspect remains intact :D :

Dan McCosh
03-18-2006, 08:44 AM
Isn't that Brock's new Cobra coupe?

Ross M
03-18-2006, 09:41 AM
Superformance, with power by Rousch. I should not bitch about the details, it really is a pretty car and it sounds great.

A couple more street related items. This is a "Hydro Automotive Structures" Elise chassis displayed by Lotus:


Paul Pless
03-18-2006, 09:46 AM
Gosh that Lotus chassis looks so simple. A throwback to their heyday. smile.gif

Ross M
03-18-2006, 10:30 AM
It looks very simple, Paul. I am certain much effort was applied to that end, and it shows in the curb weight!

10 minutes until Speed channel begins coverage (NO MORE SUN FOR ME, MA). Time for some of the Vintage/Historics, starting with a tidy little Lola:

Car 52: Where is that extra box of corn starch?
Car 38: Can you believe two of us fit in here?

This cute little lady bug of a Porsche is about to have it's headlights sucked out by a Can-Am Lola:

Ross M
03-18-2006, 12:12 PM
One hour into the race. The pole sitting R10 developed a heat exchanger issue during warmup, causing it to start last and from the pit lane. It is working it's way back to the front slowly. The other R10 has held the lead since the start. If the gearboxes hang together, this thing has a real shot at the overall.

The number 7 RS Spyder (LMP2) fried an alternator about half hour in, going from 2 or 3rd overall to 15 minutes or so back. It's a long race.

The Dyson Lola/AER's appear to be having sump evacuation issues, but one is still running strong.

The GT1 Aston's seem to be short of tire life (at least with their starting set). About 1/2 hour in, the Corvettes gained superiority, despite a significant sanctioning body imposed weight penalty. The Astons will probably go to harder tires, which may help.

A few more Vintage/Historic pics:




Ross M
03-18-2006, 01:08 PM
2 hrs in and it appears likely the the RS Spyders may be too stiffly sprung for this track; number 8 is now behind the pit wall for R&R of a split radiator.

Corvette continues to dominate GT1.

1st gearbox failure of the race: Courage/AER LMP2 at approx. 1.5 hours.

The last of the trackside shots. A very toothsome Ferrari (Testarossa?):

Audi's previous tool of domination - the R8:

From the Audi pavillion - a larger that life size mural that I found stunning (sorry about the barrel distortion - inexpensive camera smile.gif )


Paul Pless
03-18-2006, 01:15 PM
About 1/2 hour in, the Corvettes gained superiority
Corvette continues to dominate GT1.
This we very much like to hear. :cool:

Ross, thanks for the vintage racing photos. That's 50% of the reason I go to these types of races. Those old CanAm cars sure do have some bark to them don't they.

SPEED just left the race for Neckcar qualifying. :mad: However , they will return in a couple of hours for the duration. I'm tempted to get up tonight a 1:00 to watch the F1 race.

03-18-2006, 01:57 PM
Thanks for the pics Ross. THose are some nice machines.

Ross M
03-18-2006, 02:06 PM
Taxicabs :mad: :mad: Now I wish I had gone to the track today. But I guess I can wait another 1/2 hour :D

I'm with you on the Vintage stuff, Paul. One year there was this red 512S on the track with a 908 and a 917. I was suprised how little the 908 gave up to the monsters...

The CanAm Lola - when the wind was right, you could hear it run through three gears down the following straight. Doppler and the note change from running up the gears combined for some awesome audio!

I hope you enjoy the race.


Ross M
03-18-2006, 02:19 PM
You are most welcome, Katherine smile.gif I think there is something special about cars built to blast around at 200mph for hours on end, at night and sometimes even in the rain :cool:


Paul Pless
03-18-2006, 03:55 PM
Wow!!! really interesting to see the all powerful Audi team disconnect the onboard camera on that one car. In all my years of of watching motorsports, I've never seen that before.

[ 03-18-2006, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]

Garrett Lowell
03-18-2006, 04:17 PM
Ross, you are my hero. Thanks for the pics.

I like the Superformance coupe. Done by the guy who did the original, so it's hard to fault that. I like the 904, as well. It has much better proportions than the original, IMHO.

Thanks again, Ross!

Ross M
03-18-2006, 04:42 PM
You are welcome, Garrett. I am glad you appreciate them.

You are also correct about the Daytona Coupe and the 904. They are both really cool cars, I just like to balance my fawning with a bit of bitchery!

Anyone watching on the Speed channel: watch/listen for the RS Spyders on pit lane. They have some wierd rev limiter on the new V8 that really resonates between the pit box faces and the pit wall, sounding a lot like a ship's fog horn. Unearthly, or so says I!


03-18-2006, 04:50 PM
No wonder gas prices have gone up so abruptly. ;)

Ross M
03-18-2006, 06:50 PM
He-he. Don't ask about tire count ;)

Ross M
03-18-2006, 08:36 PM
It is getting harder for me to keep track of who is where, now that it is dark. This helps: IMSA Live Timing and Scoring (http://www.imsaracing.net/2003/lt/ltc.html)

Paul Pless
03-18-2006, 09:00 PM
It is getting harder for me to keep track of who is where, now that it is dark. LOL, its a headlight race now. Kind of akin to watching the old street course CART races from a low perspective, otherwise known as helmet racing. The LED number placards on the sides of the cars help.

[ 03-18-2006, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Paul Pless ]

Ross M
03-18-2006, 09:10 PM
"The LED number placards on the sides of the cars help." (Paul)

Yes, they do. Also, on the side panels - just ahead of the rear wheels - is a series of 3 lights.

1 light = first in class
2 lights = second in class
3 lights = third in class

LMP1 carries Red lights
LMP2 carries Blue lights
GT1 carries Green lights
GT2 carries Orange lights (I think)


Ross M
03-18-2006, 10:11 PM
Heartbreak for Penske with only 49 minutes to go. On the upside, it looks like I won't have to retract my prior crack about the car setup :D


PS: Anyone notice there is a C6-R in P4, and P3 is only three laps away...

Ross M
03-18-2006, 11:14 PM

Kudos to the Speed Channel coverage team. They even had the situational acuity to focus on the great Papis/Enge (Corvette/Aston Martin) battle for 3rd in GT1.

My vote for MVP: The R10 gearbox designer. Lighter than the R8 gearbox - despite using aluminum cases instead of magnesium - yet enduring a 50% higher (by my guess) input torque. No mean feat, in my opinion. Somewhat smoother torque pulses from the V12 vs the R8's V8 - but still a remarkable achievement.


Paul Pless
03-19-2006, 08:39 AM
Its was awesome. I've been a huge fan of Max Papis since watching him make up a 4 lap deficit in a Ferrari 333 SP, in less than 2 hours, at the Rolex 24 several years ago. Sadly only to be collected by a GT car in the last hour. He is incredibly exciting to watch in a sports car - and only slightly less so in an open wheel car.

John B
03-19-2006, 04:17 PM
Thanks for all the photos and insight Ross.