SEBRING, Fla.—Overcast skies and the occasional sprinkle of rain didn’t dampen the action at the American Le Mans Series Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway.
While more ALMS teams unloaded in the paddock, USF 2000 cars ran a pair of races, and GT3 Cup cars and IMSA Prototype Lites lapped the Sebring track at speed.
The first USF 2000 race of the day was hit with a sprinkling of rain two-thirds of the way through—just enough rain to make the track treacherous, as Pabst Racing driver JD Smart found out, the hard—and expensive—way.
The IMSA Lites and Cup cars were blessed with dry pavement, which led to some all-out outbraking moves into Turn 7 by the Cup cars—it was only practice, but it is important to practice overtaking maneuvers.
The Lites seemed to have problems with Turn 5—for some reason several cars ran wide or spun trying to negotiate the corner. No one hit anything, so no harm don—just a little excitement for the observers.[etssp 510] [etssp 512] [etssp 513] [etssp 514] [etssp 515]
Meanwhile, in the paddock, Muscle Milk, Core Autosport, Dempsey Racing, ESM, Falken, Flying Lizard and Corvette Racing wheeled out their latest machinery. These cars will take to the track through the next two days, finding the strengths and weaknesses, working out bugs, and preparing for the 60th Anniversary Sebring 12 Hours on March 17.[etssp 511]
The best of the ALMS Sebring Winter Test is yet to come. For $10 a day fans can see the 2012 ALMS field in action at speed around Sebring’s 17 corners. Be there if you can.