IMSA: Sebring News & Notes Quick Round-Up

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There’s been a bevy of news and notes down at Sebring this week, where drivers from several series collide to compete in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

  • The pole by Action Express Racing’s Corvette DP for Saturday’s race ended a string of four straight practice sessions led by Ford EcoBoost-powered Rileys, three of which saw Chip Ganassi Racing on top with Justin Wilson and Michael Shank Racing the fourth.
  • A heavy Verizon IndyCar Series contingent is present this week. Seven 2014 full-season IndyCar drivers in Wilson, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud are on the grid, and more than a dozen others with either past IndyCar or Indy Lights series experience are also in the field.
  • Various entry list changes have taken place throughout the week, primarily in the GT Daytona class, where an up-to-four driver lineup was allowed. In that instance, a combination of two Platinum/Gold and two Silver/Bronze-rated drivers could be allowed. With three drivers, only one Platinum/Gold would be eligible.
  • Stevenson Motorsports (GS, Camaro Z/28.R, Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell) and Freedom Autosport (ST, Mazda MX-5, Randy Pobst and Andrew Carbonell) took the wins in the second round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on Friday.
  • Chevrolet (new IMSA automotive partner) and Hertz (partnership with Porsche) confirmed their relationships this week. There was also an IMSA Green announcement held Friday.
  • The Sebring Hall of Fame inducted five new members, in Bob Tullius, Wayne Taylor, Vic Elford, Peter Gregg and Brumos Racing. A lunch celebration was held Friday.
  • As written in this separate post, Indy Lights rookie Matthew Brabham was awarded the Gorsline Scholarship on Thursday.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”