TAVARES, Fla. - Team Seattle -The Heart of Racing team is ready for the 63rd running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this weekend, Saturday, March 21.
The team took the opportunity to test last month and came away with a lot of confidence and some valuable miles under their belt. Drivers Ian James (Phoenix, Ariz), Mario Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany), Alex Riberas (Barcelona, Spain) have a lot of respect for the bumpy character of the track and are looking forward to having a competitive Sebring weekend. The team behind them has nine Sebring wins to their credit and is hungry for a tenth.
"Sebring is up there in top three for my favorite racing circuits in North America," James said. "It has huge history, massively demanding twists and turns and I have a lot of great memories racing there in the past. To be successful running the 12 hours, we will need to stay out of trouble and have the team and drivers operate at 100% of capability and then we should be in with a shout at the end. We had a very productive test two weeks ago. It is interesting to see how much the team has developed our No. 23 Team Seattle - The Heart of Racing Porsche as an overall package since last year. It is much improved and our confidence is high."
Farnbacher likes the track and the team's chances this weekend.
"Sebring is one of my favorite tracks," Farnbacher said. "The track is challenging and pretty hard on the car and the driver. I like challenging tracks and it has nearly every kind of corner, fast and slow. The track is not easy, so each lap is a new memory. To be fast at Sebring you need a lot of laps to know exactly what you have to do in each corner. We have already taken the first steps for a fast race car a few weeks ago when we took the opportunity to test. The test was very good. We still have to work on the set-up a little, but we are on our way to having a successful weekend."
Riberas knows all of the elements need to come together for a shot at the podium at Sebring.
"Sebring is tied for my favorite track in America with Road Atlanta," Riberas said. "I have a tendency to like the American race tracks rather than the new "modern" ones in Europe. I feel like it's a real race track and therefore for real race drivers. You have many challenging sections, including both high speed and low speed corners plus the tarmac is extremely bumpy. The fact that you do not have many escape roads makes racing much more intense. You make one mistake and the race might be finished. In my opinion this will play a key role in this edition of the 12 hours of Sebring. To be successful this weekend you need a very fast car and three very fast drivers! Many different factors will play a big role like strategy, reliability, consistency, speed and obviously luck. We want to be strong in every single one of those aspects if we want to have a shot at victory. I heard that the test went really well which gives me confidence for the race."
Team owner, Alex Job, has the team and drivers ready to go for the group's tenth Sebring victory.
"Our test with the No. 23 guys went really well two weeks ago," Job said. "The car was fast and we have a really nice handle on the set-up. It will probably be warmer this weekend so we will still have some work to do, but I am confident we will be ready. After our shortened run at Daytona, we have some ground to make up. Ian, Mario and Alex are very motivated to have a good race this weekend."
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida will be televised in segments, Saturday, Mar. 21, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1; 12:30 - 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2; 7 - 10 p.m. on IMSA.com; 10 - 11 p.m. on FOX Sports 2.
Team Seattle is accepting donations and pledges at teamseattle.com.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won five championships (GTC 2013, 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts nine Sebring 12-hour wins.
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT America, Ferrari 458, Aston Martin, BMW Z4, Viper SRT and Audi R8. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.