The first official day of competition of the 2023 Historic Sportscar Racing season wrapped up with a rapid-fire run of three feature races at the HSR Spring Fling that produced the first five race winners of the year on the 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway circuit.
Friday’s big winner was Fritz Seidel, who scored Porsche-class honors in Friday’s Sasco Sports International/American Challenge race and then followed it up with a victory in the HSR Classic RS Cup sprint. Seidel’s dominant day came at the wheel of the Ecurie Engineering 1974 No. 85 Porsche 911 IROC that he was racing for the first time in several seasons.
Seidel was Friday’s only repeat race winner but took the Sasco Sports checkered flag second overall behind Larry Ligas in his Predator Performance 1961 No. 61 Jaguar XKE. Ligas captured the International-class victory in addition to the overall Sasco Sports win.
Another overall victory Friday went to the TAG 2016 No. 991 Porsche 991 GT3 of Thomas Gruber who won the HSR Stoner Car Care Global GT sprint. Gruber also topped an overall field of competitors in the day’s final race that featured the Classic RS Cup opener sharing the track with the faster Stoner Car Care GT competitors.
The Sasco Sports American division victory went to Steve Piantieri, who rebounded from an early issue for a come-from-behind win in his 1965 No. 95 Ford Mustang 2+2.
Second in the Stoner Car Care race was secured by Bryan Collyer in his 2015 No. 9 Dodge Challenger GT1 with third going to debuting driver Bill Fenech in his 2018 No. 015 Porsche GT2 RS/CS. Fenech reached the podium in his first-ever race.
Second-place in RS Cup went to George Balbach in his 1966 No. 0 Porsche 911 while Lisa Hansen completed an all-Ecurie Engineering podium with a solid drive to third in her 1969 No. 110 Porsche 911 S.
Balbach also reached the Porsche podium in the Sasco Sports race in third, crossing the line just behind second-place finisher Josh Tuggle in the Heritage Motorsports 1969 No. 133 Porsche 911 RSR.
Other podium players on the day included Byron DeFoor, in the 1999 No. 129 Lotus Elise, and Hervey Parke in his 1965 No. 11 Ginetta G4, prepared by Michael’s Vintage Racing, who completed the Sasco Sports International podium in second and third, respectively.
Saturday’s HSR Spring Fling schedule is highlighted by final qualifying races for all groups followed that afternoon by the opening WeatherTech Sprint rounds. Sunday’s second and final rounds of WeatherTech Sprint races close out the HSR schedule from 11:20am ET through the final checkered flag of the weekend that afternoon around 3:20pm ET.