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May 04, 2014 - 06:20 AM
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IMSA Tudor Championship Notebook: No 33 Viper Gt3r Back After Fuel-Line Fire At Sebring
Posted by: newsla on May 04, 2014 - 06:18 AM
Feature Articles
IMSA Tudor Championship Notebook: No 33 Viper Gt3r Back After Fuel-Line Fire At Sebring

Ben Keating was driving the No. 33 Viper GT3R Viper during the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring when the drive shaft broke early in the race. The spinning drive shaft took out many components under the car, but it was the cut fuel line that turned a simple mechanical problem into a spectacular fire.


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Keating says he had a shifting problem before the drive shaft broke. He didn’t think that would make the motor die so he kept trying to restart the car. Unaware of the cut fuel line, his efforts to restart the car sent fuel spurting out under the car and caused the ensuing fire.

Fortunately, the ViperExchange.com/Riley Technologies Viper wasn’t damaged beyond repair, but the team decided to build a new car instead.

“We had a lot of testing and checking to do to see what kind of damage we had on the fire,” said Keating. “So it was faster to take the spare chassis and build it up with the parts that we had, than it was to tear a car down and built it back up again.”

Then began a mad dash to get a new car built in time for this weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif. The team was fortunate to have a spare tub that was ready the Friday before Sebring and all the spare parts back at their shop to build a complete new car.

The new car hit the track on for a test April 22 at Carolina Motorsports Park and it was second- fastest in the first practice at Mazda Raceway Saturday.

Weekend ends early for No. 88 BAR 1 Motorsports team
A wreck early in the first practice for Sunday’s TUDOR Championship race took out the No. 88 BAR 1 Motorsports Prototype Challenge (PC) ORECA FLM09 on Saturday morning.

Doug Bielefeld was on his second lap as he entered turn six. He stuffed the car hard into the tire wall, burying both himself and the car under the rubber.

Bielefeld was unhurt but BAR 1 team owner Brian Alder says the shunt damaged the front suspension pick-up points on the chassis, forcing the team to call it a weekend. BAR 1 is heading back to their shop in Ohio to repair the tub and get the car ready for the next round at Kansas Speedway.

Extreme Speed Motorsports will race HPD ARX-04b Hondas in 2015
Extreme Speed Motorsports has announced plans for the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The team will compete in the Prototype class with new HPD ARX-04b Hondas. They may also attempt a run at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The team will run the new closed-cockpit coupe, which will also comply with the LMP2 class rules at Le Mans.

“Extreme Speed Motorsports and Tequila Patrón are very excited to continue our relationship with Honda and HPD with the new 2015 ARX-04b coupe,” said Scott Sharp, Extreme Speed Motorsports owner/driver. “It is hard to believe that the current HPD base race car is now seven years old and still running strong; that is a testament to its excellent design. The next generation of the ARX chassis has been well thought out with a huge emphasis on performance, safety and aerodynamics.”

Extreme Speed Motorsports currently runs the HPD ARX-03b in the TUDOR Championship.

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