Chris Durbin made the L-O-N-G tow escaping 17-degree weather in PA to enjoy the Florida sunshine and came away with two GTA class wins and two fourth place overall finishes at the iconic 12-Hour course at Sebring. Although he ran in the 2:17's during the Friday test day his best official lap of the weekend was a 2:18.028 during qualifying for Saturday's race backed up by a 2:18.115 that afternoon. On Sunday they swapped tires front to rear rather than bolting on a better set and still managed to run consistent 2:19's as he wrapped up his second class win. We also had a good time at the Watering Hole Saturday evening!
I spent a fair amount of time promoting V8RRS with the Florida-based drivers and Chris' buddy Joe Moholland has joined up! Joe has a couple of ex-Acquilante Corvettes that he's running in GT2 trim with an eye towards competing at the 2019 Runoffs, but he's also very interested in what we're doing with the program. He took the series GT2 win both days and bracketed Chris with a fifth overall on Saturday and a third overall on Sunday.
Other Florida racers I talked to included Bobby Kennedy in the Bo-Tye (Bosco Logsdon and Steve Tye) '68 Corvette that qualified third overall with a 2:12.086, finished third overall on Saturday, then had what they suspect was a valve train failure while running second overall (and twisting that little 327 to 8800 RPM!) on Sunday. Sweet-looking ride that's been years in the building by Bosco.
I also talked to Lance Ausec (second overall with his TA2 Camaro on Sunday), but the BEST race on Sunday was for second place in GTA between Nio Fernandez, Rene Meyer, and Chad Jorgensen. They had swapped positions every lap when they came by me at the Safety Pin, but the group dispersed when Chad got reverse instead of second halfway thru Sunset Bend (Turn 17) and spun to bring out a FCY. After the restart Rene and Nio resumed their battle with Nio eventually pulling away to build a nine second gap at the checkers.
It was really good visiting with all these racers and I'm encouraged that interest in V8 road racing is alive and well in sunny Florida.
Homestead-Miami, Feb 16,17
Although no V8 racers attended the event with FARA USA, I still believe it's best for our program to include an event at Homestead-Miami on our schedule. This year we scheduled it back-to-back with Sebring to encourage some of northern members to make a "Sunshine Tour" (similar to what SCCA has done with their January Nationals/Majors over the years), but that doesn't seem to appeal to our drivers. You should still look for a Homestead event on the 2020 V8RRS schedule, but it most likely will be separated from the Sebring event.