Sebring International Raceway
February 12 & 13
The beautiful, piercing wail of Paul Breehne's Rousch powered Ford Fusion as it screamed it's 9000 rpm song on approach to the Sebring hairpin made even veteran gearheads take notice. Breehne had arguably his best weekend ever in V8 StockCar racing taking both Saturday and Sunday class wins and winning overall on Sunday. The V8StockCar.com series had returned to one of its' favorite tracks, storied Sebring International Raceway and was greeted with near perfect racing weather. Two time Porterfield V8 GT-1 class champ Jeff Emery returned to the series and put his Fred Strube prepped, winged late model stock car on the overall pole with "Babe" Branscombe second in his ex Spirit of Daytona Corvette. Breehne qualified third overall and first in the PitBoxes.com V8 SPO class with a 2:13.578 clocking. 2009 Howe Racing V8 GTA champ Randy Walker grabbed the class pole with a fast 2:16.053. In the LG Motorsports V8 GT-2 class, Bill McGavic cut his quickest lap ever at Sebring in route to the class pole, a fine 2:22.083. McGavic, the longtime Central Florida Region driver instructor was wheeling his beautiful rotary powered, tube frame Mazda RX7. Squeak Kennedy (V8 SPO) put in a fine qualifying effort in the Mo'sGold Monte Carlo, clocking a 2:18.236 in a car that is powered by a mild LS1 Chevy motor. Mike Cohen (V8 GT-1) brought out his new ride to shakedown, a nice late model powered by a Chevy SB2. George Prentice, who raced at the ARRC with us, returned with his V8 GT-1, winged Monte Carlo cutting some good laps.
Ray Webb was on hand getting his first competitive laps in his Riggins chassis, LumaBrite Racing Corvette, Ray also brought his ex Ryan Newman Dodge Charger, which would get some work before the weekend was out. Dell Haverland appeared to have the best chance of topping McGavic in the V8 GT2 class with his immaculately prepared C6 Corvette. Hall Robertson (V8 GTA) was fired up for the first race of the season and came armed with a brand new Byron Koury built small block in his late model stock car. Ageless Bill Minnear was on hand in his "Greased Lightning" Monte Carlo, as was Terry Taylor in his V8 GT2
240 Z, and newcomer Mark Strong in a very nice Panoz GT.
The green flag dropped on Saturday afternoons race and Emery immediately began to check out with Branscombe and Breehne next up in the order. Randy Walker got a great start and pulled out a bit from George Prentice's GT-1 and Squeak Kennedy's SPO stock car. Prentice used his superior horsepower to hold off Kennedy for the first lap but then the smooth driving Kennedy, who has about a dozen Sebring 12 Hour and more than twenty Rolex 24 starts outbraked him into the hairpin and was gone. Ray Webb was on the move from his mid pack starting spot in his Corvette as was Haverland (V8 GT2) and Cohen (V8 GT-1). On lap 4 Prentice brought out a full course caution when his car broke down on course and on the next lap the overall leading Emery broke a rear gear in his racer and was done. At the checker, Branscombe took the overall win and Porterfield GT-1 class, with Breehne next, and the winner in PitBoxes.com V8 SPO. Randy Walker garnered a third overall and the Howe GTA class win. Kennedy was fourth overall and second in V8 SPO, followed by hard charger Webb in the LumaBrite Corvette. McGavic got the LG Motorsports V8 GT2 win, with Haverland second in his C6 Corvette and Mark Strong third in his Panoz.
While Jeff Emery had cut the race fast lap in his winged stock car, a super quick 2:05.724, his weekend was over as he did not have the parts to repair the rear end in his racer. Branscombe would now take on the role of favorite for the overall win in a Corvette that once helped the Spirit of Daytona team win a Grand Am Series Championship.
Branscombe took the lead at the start of race two on Sunday, followed by Breehne in his Mike Breault prepared Ford, Walker and Bosco Logsdon now in the Mo'sGold Monte Carlo he shares with Squeak Kennedy. McGavic was again easily leading he V8 GT2 class. Hall Robertson (V8 GTA) was running some seven seconds a lap quicker on Sunday after spending some time getting instruction from "Professor" Squeak Kennedy. On lap six Logsdon spun in the hairpin, falling back to the sixth overall spot. On lap seven, Branscombe broke handing the overall lead to Breehne. At the checker, Randy Walker followed Breehne across the stripe, with Webb next in his back up car, the ex Nascar Cup car, followed by V8 GT2 winner McGavic.
The V8 Series thanks the Central Florida Region SCCA and it's workers for the fine job hosting the event.
We are especially grateful to our partners for the help they provide, they are; Porterfield Enterprises, LG Motorsports, Howe Racing, PitBoxes.com, GoPro, RaceTalkRadio.com, Sunoco, Hoosier, Goodyear, Mo's Gold, FiveStar, RaceCar Engineering, RacingJunk.com, Roehrig-Enders, GrassRoots Motorsports Magazine, Racing Limo's, SaferRacer, Randy Lajoie, Hess Racing Products
Next up for the V8 racers is PBIR, April 2 & 3 with the Florida Region SCCA.
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V8 Stockcar Sebring 2011 Race Report
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