Corvette Racing pulled off a win at the opening race of the 2013 ALMS season at Sebring this past weekend. The team driving the #4 Corvette GT C6 R (Tommy Milner, Oliver Galvin, Richard Westbrook) finished the 61st Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring with impressive team work. With two hours to go, Milner took over for Gavin and held first place for the final 15min.
Gavin had qualified the car in second and managed to grab first place on the first lap in the GT class. Westbrook reported smoke coming from the dash almost three hours into the race but the problem was quickly rectified.
The #3 GT C6 R (driven by Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Jordan Taylor) was not so lucky. The car was forced to retire with an overheating gearbox among other technical issues experienced early in the race. The car had qualified fifth.
Ferrari 458 Italia
The Risi Competizione 458 Italia finished in second after leading until the final hour. Teammates Gianmaria Bruni, Matteo Malucelli and Oliver Beretta drove hard but just missed out at the end.
Oliver Beretta spoke about second-place: "It's a good result for a team which was racing together for the first time, so I'm very pleased with how things went."
BMW Team RLL
With its M3s replaced for the 2013 season with European-sourced Z4 GTE racers, the #55 car was driven by Bill Auberlen, Maxime Martin and Jorg Muller. The car enjoyed some laps at the front of the field until power steering issues saw them drop back. Despite this, Muller was able to bring the car home in a commendable fourth place.
The second car, #56 BMW Z4 GTE (driven by Dirk Muller, Joey Hand, John Edwards) had a strong start until the left front strut needed repairs with only 3.5 hours remaining. Despite these major repairs, Hand was able to finish a respectable seventh.
Aston Martin Racing
Debuting the #97 Vantage GTE (a car previously used in the FIA WEC) drivers Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Bruno Senna had difficulty navigating around slower traffic. On the opening laps, the car made front-end contact, damaging the radiator. After repairs, it regained the lost ground and finished eighth.
The #007 Vantage GTE driven by Pedro Lamy, Billy Johnson and Paul Dalla Lana experienced difficulties with a broken throttle cable. After repairs it was able to finish ninth.
Pedro Lamy commented: "it's great to be part of this race with Aston Martin Racing. The team is professional, friendly and works incredibly hard."
61st Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring GT Class results:
1. #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6 R (Gavin/Milner/Westbrook) 333 laps
2. #62 Ferrari F458 Italia (Bruni/Beretta/Malucelli) 333 laps
3. #17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Henzler/Sellers/Tandy), -1 lap
4. #55 BMW Z4 GTE (Auberlin/Martin/J Muller) -3 laps
5. #91 SRT Viper GTS-R (Dalziel/Farnbacher/Goossens) -4 laps
6. #48 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Miller/Holzer/Lietz) -4 laps
7. #56 BMW Z4 GTE (D Muller/Hand/Edwards), -12 laps
8. #97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 (Turner/Mucke/Senna), -15 laps
9. #007 Aston Martin Vantage V8 (Della Lana/ Johnson/ Lamy), -26 laps
10. #93 SRT Viper GTS-R (Bomarita/Kendall/Wittmer), -30 laps