Travis Engen scored a repeat win in his 2005 No. 2 Audi R8 LMP in the one-hour B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge race while Dennis Olthoff scored a flag-to-flag HSR Sasco Sports International/American Challenge victory in the 1970 No. 9 Ford Mustang Boss 302 to highlight a competitive day of Historic Sportscar Racing action Friday at Sebring International Raceway.
Both the B.R.M. Endurance Challenge race, which included Prototype, Historic and GT Modern classes, and Friday’s HSR Sasco Sports International/American Challenge sprint are part of this weekend’s HSR Sebring Historics schedule.
The season-ending event for the year-long HSR championships, the HSR Sebring Historics sets the stage for this weekend’s fourth annual HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour, Pistons and Props, presented by the Alan Jay Automotive Network, which begins at noon on Saturday.
While Classic Sebring 12 Hour competitors qualified Friday, the day’s racing excitement came in a string of HSR Sebring Historics events. Engen soloed in the GMT Racing-prepared Audi R8 LMP to take the overall and Prototype-class B.R.M. Enduro victory for the second consecutive year at Sebring.
Engen, who is also two-for-two in B.R.M. Enduro wins this weekend after a Vintage-class victory Thursday, shared today’s Prototype class and overall podium with runner-up Robert Tornello and third-place finisher Larry Huang.
Tornello crossed the finish line in his 2013 No. 90 Corvette Daytona Prototype from Hudson Historics just 4.486s behind Engen. Huang, who set the fastest race lap and finished on the same lap as the top-two, crossed the line third at the wheel of his 2009 No. 25 Oreca FLM09 Prototype Challenge “PC” car.
The GTM class victory went to Stuart Fain who was was the highest overall finishing GT entry. Fain took the class win crossing the finish line fifth overall in his Autometrics 2010 No. 990 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.
Henri Sicotte finished second in GTM in his 2010 No. 88 Camaro GT.R prepared by GT Racing while Greg Griffin completed a rare Porsche-Camaro-Ferrari top three result. Griffin finished third in his 2013 No. 71 Ferrari F458 prepared by Speed Works Ferrari Racing Services.
The Historic class victory went to Kenneth Greenberg in his 1996 No. 836 Porsche 993 RSR with Chip Halverson and Larry Webster co-driving to second in a 1976 No. 93 Chevron B36.
In the Sasco Sports finale, Olthoff led an all-Mustang sweep (pictured above) of the American class in the Vintage Race Car Restorations No. 9 Boss 302. Gary Moore finished second overall and in the American division in his Cobra Automotive 1966 No. 98 Shelby GT350 while Craig Ross took third in his 1970 No. 72 Cross Ross Boss Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302.
Mike Banz scored yet another Sasco Sports Porsche-class win and spoiled a Mustang sweep of the overall top three. Banz took class honors and finished third overall, just ahead of Ross, in his Heritage Motorsports 1974 No. 13 Porsche 911 RSR.
A pair of Porsche 914 entries completed the Porsche-class podium and cracked the overall top 10 in the 25-car field.
John Deford finished second in the Porsche class and ninth overall in his 1970 No. 57 Porsche 914/6 prepared by the 901 Shop. Frank Beck finished 10th overall and completed the Porsche podium in third place in his Beck’s European prepared No. 58 1970 Porsche 914/6.
Another small car making a big impression in a field of mainly larger and more powerful machinery was the 1966 No. 94 Ginetta G4 (pictured above) of Thomas Grudovich.
Grudovich finished fifth overall and took the Sasco Sports International class win in the quick Michael’s Vintage Racing-prepared Ginetta.
Second in Vintage went to Rob Albino in his Hudson Historics 1999 No. 99 BMW Z3 Coupe while Michael Oritt made it two Ginettas on the class podium with a third place showing. Driving the oldest car in the race, Oritt also cracked the top-12 overall in his 1961 No. 82 Ginetta G4, which is also prepared by Michael’s Vintage Racing.
This weekend’s Classic Sebring 12 Hour, Pistons and Props, features HSR historic and vintage sports car racing and a full “fly-in” and display of equally iconic military and civilian aircraft from the last half century and beyond.
Another highlight of Friday’s schedule was the now traditional parade of planes from nearby Sebring Regional Airport to the HSR paddock. The vintage aircraft will be on display alongside historic race cars in the HSR paddock through Sunday morning.
Among the aircraft arriving in Sebring Friday is a rare North American P-51D “Mustang” of Jim Lyons and a North American T6-G “Texan” that was flown to Sebring by Jon Rising.
Other returning planes include a 1942 Vultee BT-15 Valiant piloted by Tom Smith, the similar 1943 Vultee BT-13 Valiant of Bryce Bock and the 1973 British Aviation LTD Bulldog of Tony Green. A Beechcraft T-34 Mentor is also on display at Sebring along with a Boeing N2-S3 Stearman and a first-time Howard DGA.
The weekend’s featured HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour starts at 12 p.m. EST tomorrow with each of the race’s four Run Groups taking to the track three times in succession on Saturday for a symbolic 12-hours of non-stop racing action. The format ensures each Group will have at least one nighttime session with Saturday’s final session scheduled to be checkered just before midnight tomorrow.
Classic Sebring 12 Hour competitors return to the track Sunday morning at 11 a.m. EST with each Group getting one final segment to decide this year’s winners. Overall Run Group winners will be presented with special-edition Classic Sebring 12 Hour edition B.R.M. Chronographes.