Earlier this week, famed Sportscar author Janos Wimpffen presented the epic battle of Sebring 1970, one of the most famous runnings of this Florida endurance classic… well it appears that we have another story for the history books. At the seven(ish) hour mark, the top two cars are separated by only 1.6 seconds, with the Peugeots and the Audis perfectly matched on race pace. Both have led the race at different moments during the past seven or so hours.
As the green flag fell, McNish’s Audi blew past the Acura of Gil de Ferran as if he was standing still. Although the Acura qualified took pole, it seems incapable of matching the blistering pace set by the Audi and Peugeot teams.
At the end of the first lap look how much of an advantage McNish has pulled out! In terms of sports car drivers, the Scott has to be ranked with legends like Ickx and Bell, he simply is that good. Meanwhile in the background de Ferran is swallowed up by the chasing Audi and Peugeots.
At the halfway mark, the number 08 Peugeot is holding on to a narrow 10-ish second lead from the number 2 Audi. It seems that as the race progresses, the French coupe is edging out a very small speed advantage. Montagny set the fastest lap of the race and a new track record: a 1:43.978…… and this is on an old set of tires.
The Audis on the other hand are changing their tires with each pitstop, which is causing them to lose track position to the Peugeots….
In the GT2 class, the Ferrari of Risi Competizione is having a strong, relatively unopposed run at the front.
Although its sister car had a very troubled debut, the number 92 BMW M3 GT2 had a strong run… Milner and Mueller pushed the car up to 2nd in class before the car called it quits… too bad!… Look at these two fantastic machines! The GT2 class is really coming together this year in the ALMS.
The Ford GT had a strong start but quickly got into wars with Jorg Bergmeistes’s Porsche. The two cars came together in a botched overtaking maneuver and it was the Flying Lizard Porsche which came off worse for wear, with a broken a rear control arm. This took one of the top Porsches out of the running in the GT2 category.
The two P1 Acuras are currently sitting in 4th and 5th places…. they haven’t been able to keep up with the European teams unfortunately.
Here is your leader at the halfway mark. Who is going to win? The Audi or the Peuguot?
The P2 Acura is the only car running in this class… it’s a bit sad to see how this class is only a shadow of its recent 2008 glory years. Where are all the Porsche Spyders?
Both Dyson Racing Mazda Lolas are already out…. Not the best of starts for this new program.
According to Radio Le Mans, this will be the second last North American running of the GT1 spec Corvettes. Long Beach will be the last race before Le Mans… then the new GT2 spec car will debut….
Oh and the number 3 car is leading the number 4 car in this race of two….
The future is really the GT2 class isn’t it? There is also talk the ALMS are considering adding the GT3 class in the future.
The R15 is showing very well for a brand new car. It certainly has plenty of pace and has already broken the lap times set by the outgoing R10 This is in spite of the new rules designed to slow the cars down.
The Battle continues! I hope you are tuned in to Radio Le Mans, Speedtv.com, Speedhunters Twitter, Speed TV and Motors TV to get your dose of fine car race…