2013 NEO Endurance – Sebring 2.5 hours

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The first NEO Endurance event of 2013 was 2.5 hours around the 3.74km Sebring International circuit in Florida.  Racing at night on the bumps at Sebring always produces an exciting challenge for everyone involved. TFR was represented on track by Mark, Jasper, Ian and for a short time, Phil. A total of 64 cars were entered for the first event, which would have to whittled down to just 43 entries. Ian Rogers would qualify his Corvette C6.R GT1 11th in class, while Philip Widdowson would narrowly miss out in pre-qualifaction by under a tenth of a second. Mark Bird would figure out the Sebring circuit to qualify 8th in the Ford GT2, while Jasper Groeneweg would overcome some adversity to sneak in a few tenths down on Mark.

 

TFR_Sebring_01

 

As the race got underway, plenty of respect was demonstrated as the classes managed to make the first lap unscathed. Ian would quietly make it up to 9th place after the first lap while Mark and Jasper would drop a couple of places trying to find their stride at the start of the 150 minute endurance race. As the race continued to unfold and the quicker LMP2 cars began putting laps on the GT cars things started to unravel. After roughly 30 minutes, while trying to keep track of each other and the Corvettes trying to make their way through, Mark and Jasper made some contact with eachother, sending both cars into the wall.

 

TFR_Sebring_14

 

Jasper would recover better than Mark, but finish 18 laps down  in 28th place (9th in class). Mark meanwhile, would finish off the race in 37th place (13th in class). Ian would get too friendly with some painted lines into T1 at about the half way point while challenging for 5th place in class and cause irrepairable damage to his Corvette, dropping down the order to be classified in 33rd – not a brilliant opening account to endurance racing in 2013 for Torque Freak Racing.

 

Next NEO Endurance event will be Barber 250 on April 7.