Sebring race ended before starting-line

Luxury Racing Ferrari in Turn 17 in Sebring - Photo by David Tarallo
Luxury Racing Ferrari in Turn 17 in Sebring - Photo by David Tarallo

Pierre Ehret and his frensh teammate Francois Jakubowski were without driving-duty during the 60th 12h of Sebring, the common seasonstart of ALMS and FIA-WEC. An unlucky incident of starting driver Dominik Farnbacher in the formation lap resulted in severe damage to the GTE-Am Ferrari F458 Italia of the Luxury Racing team, just before the starting-line was crossed. Although Farnbacher was able to reach the pitlane, the front-damage turned out to be irrepairable resulting in the GTE-Am-machine being the 1st retirement in the race, which was won by the Audi R18 of Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish.

Startingdriver Dominik Farnbacher was still dissapointed one day after the race. „On the backstraight the whole GT-Grid was accelerating for the start when all drivers before me were suddenly on the brakes before turn 17. The drivers were going everywhere just to avoid hitting each other. I choosed to go left but there yet was the Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister who was half on the gras. I had to choose between hitting the wall hard or hitting the Porsche which happend then. I feel sorry for my teammates who did not have the opportunity to join this fantastic race.“

The accident was that hard that Bergmeister lost his back left wheel. Also the front of the Ferrari was destroyed as Pierre Ehret explains: „It looks like we need a new chassis now. And worse is that the teams GTE-Pro Car was also involved in a heavy accident so that the team may need even 2 new chassis. It´s never clever to loose a 12h race in the 1st lap – but sometimes you have one of this days and then with bad luck it ends like this. Now we should forget this very soon and concentrate on the next races.“

"At least Dominik can take the award for being the 1st class-pole-setter in the history of WEC, because our class was the first on friday to start the qualifying. That is a small comfort. We hope to continue like this in Spa.“

The next heat of the WEC will be in Spa-Francorchamps on the of May.