With more than 200 volunteers operating the massive four-day event, PCA drivers enjoyed beautiful weather at the 24th annual 48 Hours at Sebring presented by Champion Porsche at the iconic Sebring International Raceway.
“Drivers from all over the country were able to race again for the first time since 2016 and I’m thrilled to be a part of this huge event once again,” said Josh Breckeen, co-chairman of the 48 Hours at Sebring. “I want to thank all of our volunteers for the time and energy they put into the 48 Hours at Sebring. It was very well received and we all love hosting one of the largest PCA events.”
The 2016 PCA Club Racing National Championship Series Awards Dinner, which is hosted by the PCA Club Racing Committee, was held on Thursday, Feb. 2 at the Chateau Elan at Sebring International Raceway. The dinner banquet honored 2016 podium winners and celebrated the start of the 2017 race season.
“The 2016 PCA Club Racing National Championship Series Awards Dinner kicked off our Porsche-filled weekend with a bang,” said Vicki Earnshaw, PCA Club Racing chair.
During the banquet, Earnshaw awarded Dave Elsner with the 2016 Michael Melton Memorial Rookie of the Year Award, which commemorates Michael Melton, former PCA Club Racing driver and editor of Club Racing News. Melton sadly passed away in 1999 of pancreatic cancer. The award winner is chosen by PCA stewards, who review a large group of rookie racers each year – all of whom participated safely and successfully in at least five races during their rookie season.
48 Hours at Sebring co-chairman Dan Smithyman was awarded with the Friedman Spirit Award for all the work he has done on the 48 Hours at Sebring event over the years. 2017 marks the inaugural year for this prestigious award.
“I am so honored to receive this heartfelt award,” said Smithyman. “PCA is all about camaraderie and friendship, so I’m lucky to be a volunteer for this outstanding organization.”
Over the weekend, drivers enjoyed three facets on the world-renowned, 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit at Sebring – PCA Club Racing, Advanced Solo Driver’s Education (DE) and autocross.
The Green Group, which included the Stock Class cars D through K, as well as the SP911s, GT5s and GTC1s, had around 60 entries. Jimmy Martin came in third place in Sprint 1 and improved to a second-place finish in Sprint 2, while Andy Hansen won Sprint 1 and Kevin Violette won Sprint 2.
The Orange Group, which consisted of SP1, 2 and 3 Class Cars, a majority of those being 944s and Boxsters, had around 55 entries. In Sprint 1, Chris Drake came in first with John Gladwill and Daniel Martinson rounding out the podium in second and third, respectively.
In the SP3 Class, Dan Martinson and Karl Poeltl went nose-to-tail much of the weekend with only tenths of a second separating them. In the SP2 Class, the reigning 944 Cup National Champion, Fred Beasley, demonstrated once again that his crown is well deserved with additional wins over the weekend.
“The 48 Hours of Sebring continues to be one of the best events each year for the 944 Cup classes with tremendous turnouts and exciting racing on a historically significant track,” said Dave Derecola, PCA Club Racing 944 Cup National Coordinator. “Sebring should be on every driver’s bucket list.”
In other 48 Hours at Sebring racing news, Andy Wilzoch finished second in Sprint 1 with the fastest overall lap time of 2:04.767 and then came back to beat the competition by winning Sprint 2 in his Flying Lizard 2016 Porsche GT3R. Wilzoch competed in the same car in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge. He was part of the Blue Group, which consisted of some of the fastest cars at the event, including GTA and GTC cars.
PCA member Roger Johnson spent his fifth year at the 48 Hours at Sebring live-blogging the first 2017 club race. Fans, friends and family were able to check out the action live throughout the weekend on the 48 Hours at Sebring website and the PCA.org home page.
Once again, the 48 Hours at Sebring was hugely successful, with racers, volunteers and PCA members relishing the weekend filled with 70-degree weather and exciting races.
“PCA Club Racing is celebrating yet another season of great racing and we couldn’t be more excited about it,” Earnshaw said.
Source. LST Marketing