Masters Endurance Legends started the 2021 US Season in sunny Florida!
We were delighted that Masters Endurance Legends USA had been invited to Sebring International Raceway, for a season-opening at Sebring SportsCar Week.
It has been a fantastic weekend for our drivers and teams. We were lucky enough to enjoy a very sunny weekend and racing was Sebring-style, #respectthebumps, challenging for cars and drivers but also very enjoyable!
Porter doubles up at Sebring with another crushing Masters Endurance Legends USA display
David Porter made it two from two at Sebring by repeating his Masters Endurance Legends USA win from earlier in the day. Following the same recipe, the American stormed off into the distance once more, his Peugeot 908 leaving the opposition trailing in his wake. Towards the end, Porter completed his success by improving on his fastest lap time set in race 1, slicing off another tenth.
In second and third, Travis Engen’s Audi R8 and Joe Robillard’s Norma-Nissan M30 were never far apart, but contrary to race 1 proceedings Engen did manage to stay unlapped this time around, taking a well-deserved repeat second place. Robillard ended up some 20 seconds down on Engen while keeping ahead of the Ligier JSP3-15 shared by Francesco Melandri and Nigel Greensall.
Starting from the back, Bob Blain in the HPD-Honda ARX-03b moved into fourth in the first part of the race before losing time in the pits while handing over the car to Jamie Constable. Constable did manage to set lap times within two seconds of Porter’s best but remained fifth in the end.
As in race 1, Porter put the hammer down from the start to open up a 4.8-second gap on Engen after the opening lap. Improving his lap time tour after tour, Porter this time got down to a 1.55.291 on lap 6, before easing his pace towards the pitstops.
Ten minutes into the race, Engen trailed the Peugeot by half a minute but had opened up a ten-second gap on Robillard himself, the latter proving himself well against Bob Blain in the HPD-Honda who in the early laps quickly found a way up to fourth before hitting a plateau in his pursuit of the Norma.
By that time, the race had long said goodbye to Greg Thornton in the Elan DP02, the Briton returning to the pits after the first lap, gearbox issues hampering his progress. This robbed the race of a fight with Francesco Melandri in the Ligier.
With Porter making his mandatory stop at an early moment, Engen moved into the lead for a single lap before he and Robillard pitted the lap after. When they returned to the track, Engen was looking at a 1-minute gap to Porter, with Robillard another 12 ticks behind.
Jamie Constable now in the HPD started by Blain, the Honda-powered car began setting 1.57 lap times to show some of the pace the ALMS machine is capable of, but with Nigel Greensall having taken over from Melandri, the newer Ligier was quick enough to maintain in fourth place. On lap 17, Porter then gave it another push to record a 1.53.873 – a fastest lap of the race that was a tenth quicker than Porter’s best effort in race 1.
The chequered flag was waved after 20 laps, Porter claiming his second win of the weekend, with Engen 1 minute and 46 seconds in arrears. Robillard was a lapped third ahead of the Melandri/Greensall Ligier and the Blain/Constable HPD.
Scooter Gabel shared his BMW E46 M3 GTR with Carlos De Quesada this time, and the pair romped to an easy GT class win – Gabel’s second victory of the day.