Editor’s Note: We are honored, once again, to share the thoughts of professional driver Ian James of the #23 Porsche. Ian is a dear friend of F1B and had a terrific outing at the 12 hours of Sebring. Ian shares his thoughts on the weekend and the results. Enjoy.
After a disappointing Daytona when small mechanical gremlins dropped us out of contention, it was imperative to bounce back in round two and the world famous 12hrs of Sebring.
After Daytona the team knew we had to extract some more speed out of the car and the Alex job Racing team did just that. We did 3 days of intensive testing between Daytona and Sebring and 100’s of man-hours of prep work. We tested a new rear wing that IMSA, the sanctioning body, approved to try and get the Porsche’s downforce level on a par with other manufacturers, different front splitter, new construction front tire more brake components than you could ever imagine and a couple secret sauce items I won’t mention.
The result was a car that was in the lead pulling away with 45mins remaining of a 12hr race. Unfortunately the racing gods were not completely on our side. A car stopped on track, we missed pit entrance by literally 50ft, caution flags waved and we lost out to our competitors who managed to nip in before the flags were deployed.
So it was a bittersweet result. Any time you finish on the podium in a big race is a great feeling but when you had the chance of the win it feels a little empty.
One thing about this theheartofracing.org program is we are always winning and providing support for further kids cardio research, so far we have raised $500k this season!!
The ford mustang continental program is also making great strides. We qualified 3rd in Sebring and if it hadn’t been for a freak clutch failure in the race we could have brought home a strong result there also, however I did get to race for 1 hour 45 mins with zero clutch matching revs to be able to shift the H-pattern syncro box, I was more than relieved when that race was over!!
Next on the agenda is Laguna Seca in 6 weeks, and what I love about the 2 teams I drive for is 1 day after a grueling week of running at Sebring they, are already talking about what upgrades we are doing and what we are going to test before Laguna, they want to win as bad as us drivers do, love the teamwork and passion for the sport, I feel fortunate to be part of the show.
Ian James- #23 Porsche