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Mar 15, 2014 - 06:48 AM
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2014 USCR (Sebring 12): SRT Motorsports Friday Sebring Qualifying Report
Posted by: newsla on Mar 15, 2014 - 06:45 AM
USCR News
2014 USCR (Sebring 12): SRT Motorsports Friday Sebring Qualifying Report


The SRT ® (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports Viper GTS-R teams will start nose-to-tail on the outside of rows four and five, respectively, on the GTLM-class starting grid for tomorrow's 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida following qualifying on the legendary 3.74-mile airport road course Friday.

 

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Kuno Wittmer qualified the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R eighth fastest in the GTLM field with a lap time of 2:00.111 (112.096 mph). Teammate Marc Goossens qualified the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R and clocked in with the 10th fastest lap in class at 2:00.509 (111.726 mph).

In January's season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Goossens qualified on the pole in the No. 91 while Wittmer's full-season co-driver, Jonathan Bomarito, started the day-long race third. SRT Motorsports has been searching for that same kind of class-leading pace at Sebring all week but so far has been hampered by an overall lack of grip issue that the team will continue to try to solve overnight.

One additional 25-minute, final-practice warm-up session will be held tomorrow at 8 a.m. EDT prior to the official start of the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida at 10:15 a.m. EDT.

Kuno Wittmer, driver No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R
Did this seem more like a practice session than a qualifying run?
"It felt like a qualifying car. It's an SRT Viper, so automatically you've got a grin on your face when you have all these nice elements behind you. I think we had a decent qualifying for what we accomplished so far in the practice sessions leading up to this qualifying. I don't think we should be too disappointed because it is a long race. Starting last, first or mid-pack, I believe it's completely irrelevant once the race starts. More importantly, it's about where you're standing when 11 hours and 59 minutes go by. I think it's safe to say we are on our game plan and we'll just keep chipping away at the stone."

Marc Goossens, driver, No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R
How did you feel about your qualifying run and were the results unexpected?
"I think the biggest issue is that we haven't been testing much with the right tires in the right circumstances. We know that the soft compounds don't really work on the warmer temperatures like on other tracks. A lot of it is track temp and which compound of tire we're on, and we feel that we missed that window of testing the car in better circumstances. It's a little bit bitter pill to swallow when you're on the pole in Daytona and you're 10th in Sebring."

Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver, No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R
Is racing at night at Sebring different than other nighttime race on other circuits?
"Sebring is a true night race. At Daytona, you have the lights from the speedway and here it really feels like you're racing at night. The back of the track is absolutely pitch black so you can't even see some of the corner exits. You're just basically doing it on what you learned during the day, and you have to commit to full throttle before you can even see the corner exits. So, it's definitely pretty hairy out there but it also makes it fun. It makes it interesting for the drivers and we certainly love that part of the race. At least I do."

Dominik Farnbacher, driver, No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R
Talk about how challenging dealing with multi-class race car traffic is in the 12 Hours of Sebring?
"You really have to manage the traffic in order to get by the slower GT cars and then you have to also be careful from the back because there are the prototypes that will lap you. The prototypes will come by approximately every 10 or 12 laps and take you. We, at the same time, are in the faster GT class and we have to overtake the GT Daytona cars. It's not easy to look ahead and always in the mirror and to stay focused on the front to not go off track. At night it's even harder."

Matt Bejnarowicz, SRT Motorsports Viper Racing Lead Engineer
You have been working hard, but do you still have more work to do tonight before warm-up tomorrow?
"Yeah, we've always got work to do. We're definitely not completely pleased with our qualifying effort. We need to be a little farther up in the ranking, and now we're looking for every way to get a little more speed out of the cars. We're fighting the track conditions a little bit and trying to find out how the tire and the track are interacting properly. We need to get a little better handle on that and what the tire probably needs to make the maximum amount of grip."

SRT Motorsports Team Lineups for Sebring International Raceway
No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R
Driver: Dominik Farnbacher (Germany)
Driver: Marc Goossens (Belgium)
Driver: Ryan Hunter-Reay (United States)
Lead Engineer:Bill Riley

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R
Driver: Jonathan Bomarito (United States)
Driver: Kuno Wittmer (Canada)
Driver: Rob Bell (United Kingdom)
Lead Engineer:Matt Bejnarowicz

Race Information
Name: Twelve Hours of Sebring (race two of 11 for GTLM)
Date: March 15, 2014
Time: 10:15 a.m. EDT for 12 hours
Track: Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla.

Viewing Information
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 and www.IMSA.com. The first three hours of the race can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 10 a.m. EDT/7 a.m. PDT before switching over to live coverage on www.IMSA.com at 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT until just after the race finish at 10:30 p.m. EDT. FOX Sports 1 also will televise a three-hour IMSA TUDOR Championship full-race highlight show from Sebring beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday, March 16.

Prior to the start of the race, www.IMSA.com will feature two pre-race shows. The first, "Through the Driver's Eyes, Driven by Continental Tire," a 45-minute program narrated by former Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti, provides a unique, behind-the-scenes look at many top IMSA drivers and teams. Following "Through the Driver's Eyes, Driven by Continental Tire," www.IMSA.com will feature a live pre-race show from the Sebring grid hosted by popular commentator Justin Bell. The show will include driver interviews and pre-race activities as teams make their final preparations for the grueling 12-hour battle.


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