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Photos: Sebring 12 - more than a race

Monday, March 30, 2015

Article by David Kelly
Photos by David Kelly unless noted

It was a hot day at Sebring and the crowd was large, as is usual for the 12 Hours of Sebring. The supporting Porsche Club of America Regions did a great job setting up the Porscheplatz and the enlarged Porsche corral parking for this year. It appeared that corral parking was easily accommodated for race day. 

It was a great day of racing, with lots of PCA members watching the action from the Porscheplatz, enjoying the company of friends, and seeing a wide array of Porsches in the Corral. There was an example of almost every Porsche model present on Saturday, and plenty of photo opportunities, too. 

We've included a selection of photos for your enjoyment. As you go through them, look for any details that stand out. They often tell a story unto themselves. 

Check out the white and silver 356s in the Porsche corral. Great cars, both of them! And see the early blue 911 Turbo by KMW Motorsports and the green RSR also in the corral, along with the one-of-a-kind Kelly-Moss “Safari RS” 911. You can’t miss them. 

In the Hall of Legends, see the 914-8 from the Porsche Museum. It’s one of two prototypes and features a flat-eight engine from the 908 race car with a top speed of 155 miles per hour. You’ll also see a Porsche 962, and one of the featured cars, a Chevrolet-powered Chaparral. Jim Hall was famous for his Chaparrals, considered very radical at the time, and he won the Sebring 12 in one 50 years ago. As you might imagine, comparisons were being made between that win and Saturday’s GTLM win by a Corvette.

Attending a race like the 12 Hours of Sebring is as much about the racing as it is the culture and activities that surround it. If you like what you see, then check out IMSA's race calendar to find out which event(s) you can attend. Next up is the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 17, though the next Porscheplatz with corral parking will be at the Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca (follow link for tickets) during the first weekend in May.

From left: PCA members/volunteers have chance to get hot-lap rides in a GT3. PCAers watch the race in Porscheplatz hospitality tent. Fireworks at the end of the race. - Photos by Tiffany Lodder

Race Recap

With the Porsche North America team RSRs qualifying in positions one and two for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, the odds were in Porsche’s favor for a big win, especially after the unfortunate incident at the Rolex 24 at Daytona race, where they crashed into each other at an infield turn and put each car out of the race. It seemed that fate was with them as they led the GTLM field in first and second places after eleven hours of racing, only to see disappointment once again as the #912 RSR experienced a wheel-hub problem on its very last pit stop. That led to the car having to retire from the race.

Almost immediately afterward, the #911 RSR incurred transmission issues and lost sixth gear, which erased its hard-earned margin over the third-place Corvette, quickly dropping the factory cars down the running order to finish out of contention for a podium spot in GTLM. Certainly a disappointing situation for Porsche North America, which had demonstrated throughout the race that they had the fastest cars in their class. The #17 Team Falken Porsche 911 RSR — this year with Bryan Sellers and factory drivers Wolf Henzler and new-to-Falken Patrick Long at the wheel — claimed a third place podium finish for GTLM.

There was a class-winning Porsche, though. That was the #22 Alex Job Racing 911 GT America in GT Daytona (GTD) class driven by Mario Farnbacher, Ian James, and Alex Riberas, who fought off Jeroen Bleekemolen’s Viper until a spin late in the race gave the Viper the lead. As luck you would have it for #22, the Viper soon was forced to retire with engine problems. giving the AJR Porsche the class win.

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