Having led the opening day of testing Action Express Racing’s Chevrolet Corvette DP was fastest again on the second and final day of Tudor United SportsCar Championship testing at Sebring International Raceway.
After Joao Barbosa set the best time of the first day it was newly announced teammate Sebastien Bourdais who produced the best lap of the second day – a 1:53.748, half a second slower than Barbosa’s effort in the up-speced DP.
“The changes really change the feel of the car, but it doesn’t change its character,” said the Frenchman. “I think we’ll gain about three seconds at Daytona. If we balance it, maybe there’s a bit more in it. The rear diffuser really helps set the back of the car down. These cars didn’t have much downforce before, but they have significantly more now.”
Pickett Racing were the lone PC entrant to take advantage of the test giving two new drivers the chance to sample the Oreca FLM09 chassis. Steve Doherty and Bryan Heitkotter, both past winners of the US Nissan Playstation GT Academy shared the driving duties.
“It’s definitely a learning process,” Heitkotter said. “We did some setup work yesterday, getting the car better, and getting more rear grip today. We’ve been taking baby steps, building confidence. This is a tough track to learn driving a downforce car for the first time, and it’s also the first time for the car at Sebring on Continental Tires. Plus I’ve never been to Sebring, either, so we’re taking it step by step. It’s been good so far.”
In the two GT classes – GTLM and GTD – it was a Viper double header.
On its public testing debut the Riley Motorsports SRT Viper was the fastest car in the GTD class, the new machine co-driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating.
In GTLM it was the more familiar colours of the #93 SRT Motorsports Viper that was fastest in class and nearly four seconds faster than it’s cousin in the other class.
Though running as separate teams – as they will be for the season – both teams are overseen by Bill Riley, and both run out of the workshop, though they will be split up in the series’ pitlane.
Testing for the Tudor United SportsCar Championship remains in Florida, travelling to Daytona International Speedway for two days of testing next week.