March Editorial

Sebring And Things
dailysportscar.comWhat a fascinating time of year. Those of us living in less warm climates in the northern hemisphere can (naively?) believe that the weather can only get better now. It will probably turn nasty again during March, putting paid to testing for teams that haven’t gone south for warmth and blue skies. But some teams aren’t going testing – they’re going racing, at Sebring.

Our pre-event coverage is already coming together nicely – if you haven’t worked it out yet, click the front page link Mobil 1 Sebring 12 Hours Index and day by day you’ll find new features there, to add to the anticipation of this wonderful event. If you haven’t been to Sebring yet – perhaps you were a Daytona fan, and ended up disappointed – this is the one to go to.

Believe it or not, some entrants don’t like going to the land of the orange groves. “Nowhere to stay, it’s at the back of beyond.” Ah, but that’s part of the appeal. The dailysportscar crew will be staying at the ‘Wauchula Hilton’, and that is situated in the back of beyond. Cheap and cheerful, and no one seems to mind. They’ll be so knackered, all they’ll want to do is sleep….the poor dears.

Poor old Ed. won’t be there, which at least ensures a cracking race – I always miss the best ones. Tom Kjos has presented his Prototype Preview, and the conclusion is that it’s wide open. Bentley, Audi R8 and Lister are certainly three unknowns as far as outright pace are concerned, the first because it’s making its debut away from the long straights of Le Mans, the Audis because no one outside the teams knows how they’ll fare with smaller restrictors, and the Lister because it is so new.

There are a host of questions to be answered - not least of which will be ‘What are the ACO rules for 2004?’ – and it all adds to the anticipation at the start of this ACO / ALMS season.

We’ve already reported on MG-Lola testing at Sebring, and we’re quietly confident that the blue-and-white and blue-and-red cars will be right on the pace of the big boys. The top 675 teams will be hoping that the rules remain much as at present.

GTS and GT are just as intriguing, but we’ll leave Tom Kjos to go over their prospects, as this first week of March unfolds.

The overall message is – it doesn’t get any better than this. Sebring will again have the best entry of any long distance event anywhere in the world. New car problems (and a tougher track) tend to make it less predictable than Le Mans – although we may find the class winners are simply the recognised heavy hitters from before. And we won’t care a jot.

If, say, an Audi, a Corvette and a Job Porsche win overall, in GTS and in GT, we’ll still have masses to write about. It’s the stories, you see, that fascinate us, and Sebring will provide plenty of them. We’ll try and tell them as promptly as possible, and in as much depth as possible – which is all we’ve ever tried to do here. Beautifully illustrated with the best images we can find.

Thanks for your patience during our recent troubles. We’re still sorting out some of the longer-term obstacles, but we’re getting there. A good many of you have already told us that you prefer this version of dsc, and we’re going to build on what is already here, in ways that never actually happened before. It’s been a funny old two months for us, but it’s full steam ahead from here on. Thank heavens for Sebring, just around the corner.
Malcolm Cracknell


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