Sebring 2013: The Following

Sebring 2013: The Following

Text and Photos by Mark Zimmerman

Photo Caption Bombing by Khiem Dinh

 

Walking through the infield of Sebring this past weekend made me start to think about the “it takes a village to raise a man” statement, and how Sebring has become that village for so many sports car fans. Just walking through the infield you see so many elaborate camping sites and communities that continue to return year after year. Sebring gives you the opportunity do so much more than just watch a race. You get to see old friends, make new ones, look at the rolling car show coming through the gates, take in some music, enjoy the nightly parties, get up close and personal with drivers and teams in the pits, see some great vintage sports cars, and watch one hell of a race. Sebring is not just a race, but an event, announcing that a new race season has begun.

 

The Audi R18 E-Tron Quattros (phew!) dominated the race with a silence that kills.  The E-Tron part of the name comes from the hybrid power system supplied by Williams Hybrid Power (WHP).  WHP developed a flywheel energy storage system concept originally for Formula 1 but has since been used by Porsche and now Audi.  The Quattro part of the name comes from the electric motors pushing around 100hp through the front tires making this R18 AWD.  In addition to the hybrid system being relatively quiet, the diesel engine is also very quiet relative to its petrol cousins.  Being both diesel and hybrid, the R18 E-Tron Quattro probably gets exceptional fuel economy especially considering its speed.

 

McNish wrecked one of the Audi’s on Thursday, but in true Audi fashion, the R18 was ready for night practice.

 

With a line outside the gate Wednesday morning, there is an immediate crowd as the gates open. The infield fills quickly as people set up their camping sites, platforms, stages, and cooking areas, essentially building a village from the south of the entrance, and filling the rest of the infield. 

  

Everyone is ready for business as night practice starts on Thursday, and spectators crowd turns 3, 7, 10, 13, and 17 to see the glow of rotors as teams dial in their race setups. 

 

 

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