Upcoming: IMSA Winter Testing at Sebring

Next week, the IMSA circus travels back to central Florida and Sebring for the first sanctioned testing there since 2014 and the merger. Normally, winter testing at Sebring was in mid November. When ALMS and GrandAM merged, we had ALMS testing at Sebring in November. Then a few days later, everyone went up to Daytona for testing. In January, we all went back to Daytona for testing at the Roar in January and finally back to Sebring at the end of February for final testing. That was a great deal of testing.  I suppose I can understand the need for BOP data due to the addition of the DP cars and the GrandAM GT class cars.  Additionally, each track and race do require entirely different setups with the high banked oval parts of DIS and the bone jarring, filling extracting runways at Sebring. It makes sense, I get it. This year, all of the series will be present at the test, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Continental Challenge, Mazda Prototype Lites and both the US and CA versions of the Porsche GT3 Cup. The support series run on Tuesday and Wednesday and then the big guns run on Thursday and Friday.

There wasn’t any sanctioned testing at Sebring in 2015 and strangely, I missed going. Sebring without the fans is an entirely different experience. There are no motorhomes or cars to add to the background. If you are paying any attention at all, you realize how far you can see on this very flat track. A photographer has to take extra care and precaution to make sure no porta-potties are in the frame. Hmm, is that what Henri Cartier-Bresson meant when he was discussing the decisive moment? No porta-potties? I think that is exactly what he had in mind! ….Anyway, the challenge is different than that of shooting the 12 Hours a few weeks later. The track is even in a somewhat different configuration, the cars still run the same pattern, but barriers and K-Wall are down in some places, so you have to be extra careful when running about. Some walls aren’t there any more, you could drive right on track if you weren’t paying attention.

Some of the odd bits about winter testing were that many of the cars weren’t in full livery. In many cases, they were new and were just clean carbon fiber or solid white (my favorite hate), so visually, the photography wasn’t always that appealing. Add to that new and merry-go-round driver line-ups and their helmets and fire suits not matching the cars they were in and you had a recipe for keywording mayhem. Not really, but I have always wanted to type keywording mayhem, it’s been a secret desire of mine for years. I am not sure what to expect this year since most of the cars would have been at Daytona for the 24. I guess I will find out.

I will post again next week after the testing and let you know how it went.  In the mean time, please enjoy a few of my favorites from 2013-2014 posted directly below. If you are so inclined, the links to the archive galleries for 2013 Sebring Testing and 2014 Sebring Testing can be viewed by clicking the previous links. As always you can see my entire body of work at DarrenPierson.com

#45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8: Spencer Pumpelly, Seth Neiman

#45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8: Spencer Pumpelly, Seth Neiman

#62 Ferrari Corse Clienti Ferrari 458: Giancarlo Fisichella

#62 Ferrari Corse Clienti Ferrari 458: Giancarlo Fisichella

#45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8: TBA

#45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8: TBA

#12 Pickett Racing ORECA FLM09: Steven Doherty, Bryan Heitkotter

#12 Pickett Racing ORECA FLM09: Steven Doherty, Bryan Heitkotter

#007 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: David Heinemeier Hansson, Darren Turner

#007 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: David Heinemeier Hansson, Darren Turner

#73 Horton Autosport Porsche GT America: Mike Vess, Jason Hart, Patrick Lindsey

#73 Horton Autosport Porsche GT America: Mike Vess, Jason Hart, Patrick Lindsey

#007 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: David Heinemeier Hansson, Darren Turner

#007 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: David Heinemeier Hansson, Darren Turner

#62 Ferrari Corse Clienti Ferrari 458: Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella, Olivier Beretta

#62 Ferrari Corse Clienti Ferrari 458: Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella, Olivier Beretta

#55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Dirk Mueller, John Edwards, Andy Priaulx

#55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Dirk Mueller, John Edwards, Andy Priaulx

#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8: Christopher Mies, Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Bryan Sellers, Al Carter

#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8: Christopher Mies, Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Bryan Sellers, Al Carter

#15 Project Libra Radical SR9: Robbie Kerr, Nicolas Decrem

#15 Project Libra Radical SR9: Robbie Kerr, Nicolas Decrem

#30 NGT Motorsport Porsche GT America: Kuba Giermaziak, Christina Nielsen, Alex Mueller, Dennis Trebing

#30 NGT Motorsport Porsche GT America: Kuba Giermaziak, Christina Nielsen, Alex Mueller, Dennis Trebing

#27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America: Joe Foster, Andrew Davis

#27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America: Joe Foster, Andrew Davis

#35 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS: TBA

#35 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS: TBA

#0 Delta Wing Racing DeltaWing DWC 13: Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge

#0 Delta Wing Racing DeltaWing DWC 13: Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge

#23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Porsche GT America: Ian James, Mario Farnbacher

#23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Porsche GT America: Ian James, Mario Farnbacher

#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8: Christopher Mies, Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Bryan Sellers, Al Carter

#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8: Christopher Mies, Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Bryan Sellers, Al Carter

#44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT America: John Potter, Andy Lally

#44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT America: John Potter, Andy Lally

#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia

#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia

#6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing ORECA: Lucas Luhr, Klaus Graf

#6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing ORECA: Lucas Luhr, Klaus Graf

#22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America: Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen, Philipp Frommenwiler

#22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America: Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen, Philipp Frommenwiler

#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS: Christopher Mies, Charlie Putman, Charles Espenlaub

#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS: Christopher Mies, Charlie Putman, Charles Espenlaub

#1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b: Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel

#1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b: Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel

#93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R: Marc Goossens, Jonathan Bomarito, Jeroen Bleekemolen

#93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R: Marc Goossens, Jonathan Bomarito, Jeroen Bleekemolen

#57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 Italia: Nic Jonsson

#57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 Italia: Nic Jonsson

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