Corvettes Sweep 12-Hours Of Sebring
(Nigel Dobbie) –It was a very good day for Chevrolet and the Corvette brand in particular. The
godfather of Corvette Zora Arkus Duntov must have been looking down from Corvette heaven
with a massive smile on his face as, for the first time in 50 years, a Chevrolet powered car won
overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
The last time a Chevy power plant won was in 1965 in back of the Chaparral 2 and this was mated to a
2-speed automatic gearbox! Consequently the actual car that won in 1965 ran some demonstration
laps before the race and on Friday in the hands of Jim Hall II the son of Jim Hall who won in 1965
with Hap Sharp.
The 2015 edition of the 12-Hours of Sebring did not look promising for Corvette in either the Daytona
Prototype or GT Le Mans class as the best they could muster in qualifying was 3rd in both classes.
The Krohn Racing Ligier took the overall pole and a pair of Porsches headed the GTLM Class from
the #3 Corvette, the #4 Corvette could only manage 7th place, about 6/10ths of a second behind the #3.
The race was so much better than the 2014 edition. The phrase less is more seemed appropriate as
although there were significantly less cars competing compared with the inaugural Sebring run under
the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship banner?the racing was much better and there were far
fewer full course caution periods.
A second pit stop confirmed that the #912 was out of contention, the #62 Ferrari then slowed with
overheating issues and the #911 Porsche was struck by a late race gearbox problem allowing Antonio
Garcia to guide the #3 Corvette C7.R to a second victory of the season and a 9th class victory for Corvette
Racing since 2002.
In the Daytona Prototype Class The #57 Krohn Racing Ligier led away from pole position and in the early
stages of the race was able to pull a gap on the rest of the field, however they lost the lead at the first round
of fuel stops and were never really a factor again after that.
The defending #01 Target Chip Ganassi Ford Powered Riley was really the only car that looked like it could
challenge the Corvettes for the victory as it led at the hallway stage of the race. The Wayne Taylor Racing
#10 Corvette DP having had to change brakes early in the race, fought their way back through the field and
due to fantastic stints by all the drivers took second place overall.
The #90 Visit Florida Corvette DP took third place when Richard Westbrook managed a late race pass on the
#01 car. The 9th hour of the race saw the crucial move as the #5 Action Express Corvette managed to put
themselves a whole lap ahead of the rest of the field, thanks to great pace and an extended period of green
flag racing. From that point on it was a case of driving the car fast but not pushing it and Joao Barbosa
brought the car home to record a clean sweep of the overall podium for Chevrolet and Corvette.
With the GTLM victory for the #3 Corvette as well this was a special race for all associated with the Corvette