[Sprint Race 1 Live Blog]
It’s a chilly Saturday morning at Sebring and Rob is on grid just about to roll out for the pace lap of Sprint Race 1. A little drama about 15 mins ago; After Rob was strapped in the car and ready to start up we found the battery was- dead! We will investigate what happened after the race but he literally made it to grid with a minute or two to spare, and the portable jumper box is still connected to insure we roll out.
UPDATE 10:03 / Rob just rolled out for the pace lap; pole position. No battery issues at all now.
UPDATE 10:07 / The green flag has dropped and Rob didn’t get the best start for some reason. Heading down to Turn 7 now on the opening lap, Rob is in P5 behind three GT3 Cup Cars and the leading Ferrari F458C driven by Steve Hill of Norwood Auto Italia.
UPDATE 10:13 / It seems Rob has settled in. His lap times on lap 4 and 5 are the quickest to date and he has gained back one position braking into Turn 7 overtaking Tom Pank’s Ultra Performance GT3 Cup Car. Edit: He is now in P3 as he was able to pass another GT3 Cup driven by Roberto Bengoa from Orbit Racing thru Turn 9. Two positions regained now from the start.
UPDATE 10:15 / Rob is closing quickly on the P2 991 GT3 Cup driven by Joe Varde. The field is passing thru T1 now with P1 Steve Hill well ahead in the Norwood Auto Italia F458C by 5.6 seconds.
UPDATE 10:17 / A pass attempt seemed to be made coming thru T17 on Varde but we aren’t sure why it didn’t stick. Rob in P3, Varde P2, and Hill running by himself out font in P1.
UPDATE 10:17 / Rob Passes Varde for P2 coming out of T5.
UPDATE 10:19 / Rob is 4.2 seconds behind P1 Hill.
UPDATE 10:21 / The gap between Hill and Rob is now under 2 seconds.
UPDATE 10:21 / A lot of the gap has been eliminated. Rob is now right behind Hill as they Exit T7… Still on Hill’s bumper thru T10… Exiting T13 there must be less than a foot between Rob and the back of Hill’s Ferrari approaching Bishops Bend.
UPDATE 10:22 / Rob seems to gets a good run off T16…
UPDATE 10:23 / In a drag race down the back straight, Rob goes inside Hill going into T17. It sticks! Rob is back to P1.
UPDATE 10:24 / Rob just turned two consecutive 2:06.8 laps in pursuit of Hill.
UPDATE 10:28 / P2 Hill is 2.7 seconds back. Rob is hitting some lap traffic now. White flag is out.
UPDATE 10:31 / Race over. Rob takes P1, followed by P2 Hill, P3 Varde, P4 Pank and P5 Bengoa for the Top 5.
[Sprint Race 2 Live Blog]
All systems, including the battery, are go for Sprint Race 2. Rob retains Pole Position after his P1 finish in Race 1. The #74 Porsche GT3-R will retain pole for tomorrow’s endurance race where Rob will be joined by Juan Lopez-Santini sharing the driving duties. Crew is rolling out to grid now for the countdown to the pace lap.
UPDATE 2:02 / Pace lap is underway. Rob is sharing the front row with Steve Hill in the Norwood Auto Italia F458C. Right behind Rob is Joe Varde in the 991 GT3 Cup #25, who shares row two with Tom Pank also in a GT3 Cup #42.
UPDATE 2:06 / The green flag has dropped and again Rob didn’t get an optimal start. It looks like Steve Hill’s F458C and Tom Pank’s GT3 Cup are out in front, Rob P3.
UPDATE 2:07 / Rob is going to work and makes a move into T17, inside Pank, still on lap 1.
UPDATE 2:10 / The pass was made on Pank / P2 was gained but the race is now under RED FLAG condition as Steve Hill, Rob Blake, and Joe Varde come to a stop at T16 and await instructions. It is reported a car went hard into the tire wall in Turn 17 on the first lap.
UPDATE 2:21 / The race has been called. There is a mess in Turn 17 that will require too much clean-up time to resume the race. Race Director Ken Fengler declares it a non-race; no points, no podium. Our day has unfortunately ended early.