FSB Endurance Racing Wins at the 12-Hours of Sebring
Once again we were able to get three cars into the same iRacing split at last weekend’s 12-Hours of Sebring and planning and perseverance paid dividends with a win, a 4th place and a 13th place finishes! OFFICIAL RESULTS
Car #002, Finish: 1st class/overall, Drivers: Larry Krupp, Kenny Paul & Randall Sharrett
Kenny Paul qualified the car well enough for 5th place on the starting grid. Larry Krupp started the car and was running in 3rd place just a couple laps shy of his first scheduled pit stop when he was rear ended hard by a lapped GT car, on the entry of the turn 5 hairpin. The contact spun him into the path of oncoming traffic and Larry was broadsided by another car with nowhere to go. Approximately 2 1/2 minutes of repair dropped the team clear back to 26th, two laps down. By lap 53 Larry had worked his way back up to 10th at which point Kenny got into the car, recovering 3 more positions during his stints. Larry got back behind the wheel for two more pit cycles, followed by Randall Sharrett both of whom ran fast & flawless stints taking the team up to 2nd place. At around the 9 hour mark the lead Corvette was inexplicably taken out by a Mercedes on lap 243 on the front straight, handing over the top spot to Kenny who was in the #002 at the time. He managed to maintain the lead even after a few of off-track excursions from tangling with GT cars, until Randall came in again on lap 271 to extend the lead and finish out the race with the Team’s first major endurance race win.
Car #001, Finish: 4th class/overall, Drivers: Greg Bernardo, Steve Jones, Zach Robinson
Greg Bernardo rolled the dice and elected to forgo a qualifying run. He started the car 17th based upon his iRating and steadily worked his way up the field to 5th place by the time his opening stints were complete. The UK’s Steve Jones took over from there, picking up another position before stepping out and giving Zach Robinson his turn in the seat on lap 105. The team had minimal issues and ran in the Top 5 for the majority of the race. The only major issue being some driver rescheduling and Steve pulling an additional stint when Zach was having connectivity problems. Greg was in the driver’s seat again running in 3rd for the final stints and in the closing laps was under significant pressure from behind. Greg fought valiantly to defend the position but was edged out and crossed the line with a still outstanding 4th place finish.
Car #003, Finish: 11th class / 13th overall, Drivers: Milt Minter, Jr., Guy Pitra, Matt Moritz
At the 24 Hours of Daytona Team car #002 was the sacrificial lamb with all of the bad luck. At Sebring the #003 took on that role, acting as a magnet for the entire GT class field. Matt Moritz, the newest member of the FSB Endurance Racing Team, qualified the car 8th, and Milt Minter, Jr. was the lead off driver. During the first stint he dropped as low as 16th at one point in an effort to avoid bumping and banging with GTs before eventually regaining his original starting position. When Milt had to exit the car unexpectedly, Guy Pitra’s stint started a few laps earlier than planned. Guy was forced to pit again several laps later after getting wrecked on lap 69, dropping the team back to 15th while getting repairs. Guy was able to make it up to the 13th spot within ten laps and the team remained there for the next couple of hours. Matt was unable to start his stint as scheduled so Guy and Milt traded off driving duties, gaining two more positions in the process. Matt was finally in the car starting on lap 144 and was most of the way through his first stint when he was taken out by a GT car in the exact same manner the leader of the race was wrecked; the other car simply turned right on a straightway. The #003 had to be towed back to the pits for over 10 minutes of repairs. The remainder of the race was an ongoing series of ups and downs, but the Team hung in there and finished out the race with a very respectable and well earned 11th in class and 13th place overall.