Action Express, Porsche Continue Early Season Form at Sebring Test


Porsche North America were 1-2 in both Friday sessions (Courtesy of IMSA)

Action Express Racing’s #5 team were the best of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship field in the second and final day of testing at Sebring International Raceway.

Their best lap of the day came in the morning session, pacing the session with a lap of 1:52.488 around the 3.74 mile track to lead the session by 0.742 seconds over OAK Racing who, in a repeat of the results of Thursday’s afternoon session were second fastest, and the best of the LMP2 chassis teams. The #5 team’s best time was just a fraction slower than their time topping effort from the previous day, which held on as the best time of the test.

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing were third fastest in the morning’s running, Spirit of Daytona Racing and Extreme Speed Motorsports’ #1 team completing the top five.

The top of the afternoon’s timesheet welcomed many of the same teams. OAK Racing led the way, the Morgan-Nissan equipped team with a lap of 1:53.338, just 0.061 faster than Spirit of Daytona Racing. The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford-Riley was third fastest with both of the ESM HPD’s in the top five behind.

BAR1 Motorsports’  snapped 8Star Motorsports’ streak of session topping in the morning running, but Enzo Potolicchio’s team were back at the lead of the spec PC class in the afternoon running with Starworks Motorsports second fastest, though again it was 8Star’s Thursday morning time that led the class when the times from all four of the test sessions were combined.

In both of the GT classes, however, the best time of the two days came from Friday’s sessions.

Porsche North America tightened their already ominous stranglehold at the top of GT Le Mans (GTLM). The #912 led the Porsche one-two in the morning session before they and the #911 swapped places for the afternoon session, the Rolex 24 winning team fastest with a best time of 1:59.395. That time became the fastest GTLM time of the test, the #912’s from the same session slotting into second fastest for the two days.

The improvement in the final session put the pair of 911 RSR more than six tenths ahead of the #93 SRT Motorsports Viper that, in Thursday afternoon’s running, set what would become the third fastest time in class. The #3 Corvette was fourth fastest in combined times – their best lap too coming on Thursday afternoon despite running third fastest on Friday morning behind the Porsches. Krohn Racing – the lone GTLM Ferrari at the test as Risi Competizione’s example is still under repair following Matteo Malucelli’s dramatic exit from the Rolex 24 – were third fastest in the final session of testing with a time good enough for fifth fastest in class across the two days.

Porsche teams swept the GT Daytona (GTD) running on Friday also. Park Place Motorsports led the morning session on 2:04.289 before Alex Job Racing put their own Porsche GT America fastest in the afternoon session. The two times leapt the two teams ahead of Turner Motorsports’ overnight benchmark, Park Place Motorsports taking bragging rights as the fastest team in class, but with Alex Job Racing’s best less than a tenth behind.

Though Porsches took the best times, the GTD class remained – arguably – the tightest battle between team running different marques with Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, SRT (and, of course, Porsche) all in the top five of at least one of the Friday sessions.

The only GTD manufacturer not represented in that list – Audi – ended the test with its best team – Flying Lizard Motorsports – only 12th fastest in class.

The TUDOR Championship will return to Sebring for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, the second round of the championship, on March 12-15.