The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge features a handful drivers who make their homes in the state of Florida, making Sebring – site of next month’s Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 – a “home race” of sorts for them.
Ahead of the race, scheduled for Fri., March 16, more than a dozen cars participated in the two-day, IMSA-sanctioned test at Sebring, including some local drivers who logged testing miles on the track that was converted from a World War II air base.
“I grew up in Tallahassee and I live in Orlando now, so Sebring has been my home track since day one,” said Paul Holton, driver of the No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren GT4.
“I’ve spent a lot of time down here and really enjoy the place. It’s a nice, quaint little town not far from Orlando so it’s a quick, easy drive down for me.”
The track is also about two hours from Palm Beach Gardens where Ramin Abdolvahabi lives. A neurosurgeon, he currently drives the No. 09 Automatic Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
“I haven’t been here for two years, so coming back is like coming home,” said Abdolvahabi. “It’s a fantastic track and it’s one of the iconic tracks in the world so being at Sebring – a small town, my hometown, welcoming – it’s fantastic.
“I went on the track a couple of times yesterday and it’s just like wearing an old shoe, it just fits and it’s fantastic. Hopefully, the race will go well and the weather will hold, so anyone who’s out there, come and see us!”
And for the local teams, being at home offers added incentive to perform well in front of the hometown crowd.
“We’re going to stuff about 14 people into a house so yes, I’m going to have friends and relatives,” said Alan Brynjolfsson, team owner and driver of the No. 7 VOLT Racing Ford Mustang GT4.
Brynjolfsson calls nearby Tampa home.
“Sebring is kind of our home track, so we have a lot of confidence here and feel at our home track we should perform really well, so we always look forward to Sebring.”