We just wrapped up the 12 Hours of Sebring, and what an event it was. The week started with both of our Mazda RT24-Ps running strong in practice, within the top six or seven cars in class. Although qualifying didn’t give us the results we had hoped for, we knew it was a 12-hour race and that qualifying position is really inconsequential to the final results.

The race kicked off, and everything was going as planned for our No. 70 Castrol Mazda with Joel Miller behind the wheel. We started having braking issues after an hour, and unfortunately that resulted in an impact with the tire wall in Turn 17. Luckily Joel was okay and we were able to repair our Riley-MultiMatic chassis to get back in the race. The teamwork by the crew to repair the car was outstanding.


I was the first driver in the car after we came back into the race. At that point, the conditions were very slick, unlike anything we had seen all week but very traditional for Sebring. After a quick double stint, I handed the car over to Marino Franchitti. Our No. 70 Mazda regained the sixth position in class while our sister No. 55 ran a solid top-five race.

As the race continued and I had another turn in the car, the temperatures started to cool off and the sun began to set. Visibility was extremely difficult. Going into Turn 7 (the Hairpin) and Turn 17 (the aptly-named Sunset Bend) with the setting sun, it was so difficult to see at top speeds that I literally couldn’t see the brake markers for the corner until I was right next to them. I was in the car for three stints during that time, and every pit stop included a windscreen cleaning!

12_Sebring17Just as things were going smoothly and we were setting sail toward the night, we made a routine pit stop and came across suspension issues that unfortunately forced us to retire at that point.

Getting so much seat time in the race was fun, dealing with the difficult conditions and managing all the traffic that Sebring creates. Our crew did an incredible job all day with pit stops as well as the work back in the paddock to keep our Mazda running. We were happy to see our teammates finish in a solid fifth, and certainly we learned a lot as a team and were able to make improvements from Daytona. We will continue to focus forward as we prepare for the shorter races that are coming up.