The 1967 12 hrs of Sebring was an awesome race. Ford…
Sunday morning at the Blackhawk Majors we had some lovely weather, overcast and slightly chilly. The morning started out with Spec Miata in group one. Early on in the race several cars went off in turn one. Our winner Kyle Webb said it was like the parting of the red sea as he moved from eleventh all the way to second place. Now with a win in his sights he had his eyes set on Justin Hille and was able to execute a pass a few laps later. Hille didn’t give it up easily as he kept the pressure on Webb all the way to the checkered flag.
In the second group this morning we had Spec Racer Ford, Adam Gottleib had a great start and lead the whole race but not without pressure from Jeff Beck from behind. Also during the second session was Spec Racer Ford Gen 3. Scott Rettich the pole setter had a rough start of the race resulting him to fall back into third. Due to attention to detail and carefully executed laps Rettich was able to execute clean passes moving himself up to first. However, it was not an easy win. A hard fought battle came from Bobby Sak our second place winner all the way to the end of the race.
Session three, with Formula F we had Tim Kautz had a plan of playing it safe for the first half – two thirds of the race but with pressure from behind from Scott Rubenzer he was forced to step up his game and brought his Formula F to a victory. In Formula 500 James Weida was successful in getting himself a healthy gap between himself and second place competitor Herb Noble allowing him to execute safe laps until the finish. In Formula V Ron Winston was able to execute clean laps resulting himself in a first place finish in FV.
Onward to session four where things started to get interesting. It was threatening to rain, some competitors went out on wets while others went out on dries. Those who chose dries made the right choice despite a few laps in the sky opened up and it began to pour. This session was called slightly early due to rain. Jon Brakke in E Production was one of our competitiors who chose to go out on slicks and he managed to keep it clean and stay on the track which put him into the lead in E Production over Steve Smyczek. In GT-Lite Steve Sargis was wishy washy on whether he wanted to go out on wets or dries, with a split minute decision he decided to go out on the slicks and managed to execute clean laps resulting himself in a first place finish over competitor Peter Zekert. In F Production Michael Sturm also made the last minute decision to go out on slicks, he was able to pull a healthy margin on his competitor who were on rain tires while it was dry so when it began to pour he just had to keep it clean and keep it on the track and hold his competitors off and lead himself to victory. Greg Gauper also going out on slicks was able to put a lead on his competitors while it was still dry then held his lead til the checkered flag dropped.
A very wet session five resulted in some interesting finishes! Voytek Burdzy registered in T4 not having rain tires for his Mazda MX5 consulted for a ride in his old Spec Miata which had rain tires. He was terribly out classed in the Spec Miata, despite being out classed and starting from the back of the pack he still managed to take the checkered flag over Daniel Bender and the overall winner of session five. Matt Slavens part way through the race was behind and was able to launch himself into fist place over competitor Tim Kezman. Moving on to STL, Brenton Williams started on pole and got a good start and was able to hold off his competitors resulting him his first majors win over Tom Brown. In T3 Patrick Womak went out on slicks and managed to do a lovely spin across start finish and hit the wall, after that he came into the pits and got some rain tires. Despite this adversity he was able to finish in first in class.
A wet session five rolled into an even wetter session six. The rain just had no mercy as it came down in buckets. Fabio Castellani in Formula Atlantic with a very well set up car for the conditions was able to confidently execute laps in the pouring rain. He even managed to lap the entire field and put two laps over his competitor J.R. Smart. Tyler Thielmann being the only competitor in the class had no pressure from behind but that didn’t stop him from pushing it in these conditions, netting him a 4th place finish over all for the group. Jason Miller in P1 was successful in these wet conditions able to put himself a whole lap ahead of competitor Gary Peck. Mike Rupert had a difficult start to the race of P2, his battery went dead in the pre grid luckily he managed to get it rolling because he worked himself up to the back of the field and then into first ahead of Richard Colburn.
Session seven had some very heavy down pours. In GT2 Tim Kezman was able to put a lap on his competitor Joe Koenig with these conditions leading him to a victory in GT2. Alan Kossof setting the track record yesterday in T1 was elated and looking for more competition this season. In the wet conditions Kossof managed to put five laps over his competitor Mark Boden resulting in a victory for the weekend. Moving onward to GT3 Mike Cyphert having a real difficult time seeing said he was glad the grass was green so he knew what was grass and what was track! Despite this adversity he managed to put seven laps over his competitor George Cichons Jr. In American Sedan Scott Sanda claimed he was given a gift when his competitor pulled in to clear the fog off of his windshield resulting him in a victory over Matt Regan. In GT1 Bryan Long being the only competitor in the class decided to play it safe in these conditions and completed only one lap.
As soon as the last car came off of the track the clouds cleared out and we quickly went back to sunshine and mid seventies. Several of the competitors asked for a do over in dry conditions!