While the Twelve Hours of Sebring may no longer be a round of the series, a number of teams from the FIA World Endurance Championship are at Sebring International Raceway this week for testing at the famed Florida airfield track.
Both Audi Sport Team Joest and Porsche Team have unleashed their brand-new LMP1 cars around the 3.7-mile circuit this week for the private test. It’s understood to be the first direct on-track test between the two manufacturers.
The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Porsche 919 Hybrid have been joined by LMP2 entries from OAK Racing (Morgan-Nissan), Millennium Racing (Oreca Nissan) and Greaves Motorsport (Zytek Nissan) as part of a Dunlop tire test for the cost-capped prototypes.
Both OAK and Millennium will use the same cars to compete in next week’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race, but switching to Continental Tire rubber.
The Greaves Zytek-Nissan, meanwhile, sees Tom Kimber-Smith and Chris Dyson at the wheel, the car fresh off a test at Carolina Motorsports Park last weekend. Greaves is scheduled to test today and Wednesday, while it’s believed the LMP1 squads will be on track through Friday for extended endurance runs.
The circuit will be open for additional testing on Saturday, where close to a dozen TUDOR Championship teams are expected to take part. There is no additional TUSC track time scheduled until the start of official practice on Thurs., March 13.
It’s also understood that Audi will not be testing following the 12 Hours, as it has traditionally done over the years, instead using this week for its long-distance testing.
For the first time, LMP1 cars are not allowed to take part in the Twelve Hours of Sebring, due to the new TUDOR Championship’s class structure.
Audi won last year’s race with its R18 e-tron quattro driven by Oliver Jarvis, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler.