Friday, April 8, 2022

A few Items of Interest Gleamed over Super Sebring weekend

Although that’s probably already Faded from All of your Rear view mirrors, Err, Uhm Backup cameras…


Ah, it’s Funny how a fortnight’s time can seem so long ago to Mwah. As I was more intrigued over two notable items vs. the outcomes of the two Sports Car Endurance races held at Sebring over the weekend of March 18-19. Especially since I Didn’t get to partake either this year.


Scrolling thru’s Sports Cars and IMSA sections, the two items that Jumped Out to Mwah were the articles upon the Bowtie’s venerable Camaro returning to Circuit de la Sarthe in 2023, under the auspices of the Project 56 Garage banner. As next year’s race also happens to be the Centinary Anniversary of the 24 Heurs du Mans.


Really cannot say why this excites me so? Since if GM or it’s NASCAR Brethren really wanted to put their Money where their Mouths are, then it would be a Full Blown GTE Pro entry instead of Exhibition class only! Although that would probably be either at the Corvette’s expense or seeing two General Motors Brands competing against each other. Or they could have entered it in the fiercely competitive GTE Am Class…


Yet that said, I’m still excited to not only “See” how this One-off Camaro entry fares, but more importantly who it’s drivers will be? As could this be an “In” to Le Mans for Jimmie Johnson?


Next up, as I was perusing thw website’s sections in order of the two race outings, i.e.; FIA World Endurance Championship’s 1000 Miles of Sebring on Friday, followed by the annual IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship’s 12 Hours of Sebring Saturday.


Thus what next leapt off thoust page for me was the announcement of Cetilar Racing, winner’s of this year’s Sebring 12 Hours GTD Class with it’s No. 47 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, would be debuting la Scuderia’s newest Prancing Horse, the Ferrari 296 GT3 at next year’s Rolex 24!


Naturally I’m a Fan of Almost anything Maranello produces, albeit cannot say I’m a Fan of the long cherished V-8 lumps’ Disappearing! All in the name of tougher CAFE (Fuel Economy) Standards mandated for 2026. And No, I’m Not opposed to this mandate, just Don’t like how the Rorge Retsson electroCar era, or better yet Electric Barbques are being Uhm, Oh Never Mind!


That said, the Ferrari 296 with presumably a race derived version of it’s production twin turbo 3.0-litre V-6 lump sounds like a thoroughly Mega piece ‘O Kit, which makes me think of the long ago 246 Dino’s…


Although according to Motor Authority, the 296 GT3 racecar is inspired by the Ferrari 250LM that won the last Overall 24 Heurs du Mans victory for Ferrari Wayback in 1965.


Lastly, enjoyed the Richard S. James Racer article upon Hall of Famer Wallace Taming the Bumps at Sebring. As that’s gotta be Andy Wallace, Righto?


Indeed, Bad Arse’ Sports Car Ace Andy Wallace was being inducted into this year’s Sebring Hall of Fame, in a pretty stellar class that also included ‘lil Stevie Johnson, aka Stefan Johansson, the original Mr. Le Mans, nee Jacky Ickx, ‘Ol Hobbo’, nee HobbsCapp’, ergo David Hobbs and Oh Yeah, that Walter Cronkite! For which I never knew that Cronkite actually contested the 12 Hours of Sebring in a bloody Lancia!


And for those of Y’all who still Don’t think Racing Drivers are Athletes! I especially loved the part about Wallace not telling His Boss, the late Dan Gurney about his two broken Ribs for fear of being replaced prior to winning that year’s Sebring 12 Hours race aboard the All conquering AAR Toyota Eagle MkIII!


As Wallace is one of presumably a very small cadre of racing drivers to have won the Rolex 24, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Heurs du Mans, a Feat that ‘Ol SuperMario’, nee Mario Andretti cannot boast of…


While lately, Wallace was the man behind the wheel of the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport  as Bugatti’s Test Driver who officially cracked the 300mph mark, with an astounding record of 304.77 Gory Miles Per Hour, Aye Karumba!