Of all the classes in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the one fans are the most passionate about could very well be GTLM. There are Corvette fans, Ford faithful, BMW supporters and those passionate about Porsche and one thing is certain — the race will be a battle to the very end.
Corvette Racing is the first name that pops to mind when talking GT cars at Sebring and the team has picked up 11 class victories in the 12 Hours and looks to return to the winner’s circle after a disappointing finish in 2018, as both cars finished outside of the top five.
The familiar faces are back for Corvette, with Jan Magnussen getting ready to pass Johnny O’ Connell’s record for consecutive starts at Sebring with his 21st start in the race. He will be joined by usual teammates Antonio Garcia and Mike “Rocky” Rockenfeller.
The usual culprits will be behind the wheel of the No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R — Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler and both teams have the ability to pull out the victory if they can avoid trouble, which is easier said than done at Sebring.
Porsche GT Team had a banner showing at Sebring last year, claiming two spots on the podium, with the No. 911 car taking the victory and all three drivers are back for a shot at defending its title, with Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Frederic Makowiecki behind the wheel.
There is a change in the third-place finishing No. 912 car from a year ago, as Mathieu Jaminet replaces Gianmaria Bruni, but Earl Bramber and Laurens Vanthoor are back for another go.
The No. 912 car placed third at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, while the No. 911 entry was fifth, so a decent start to the season for the team.
Connor De Phillippi is the only returner in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL entry, which finished second at Sebring last year, but if there were any doubts about how the team would fare, those were put to rest in January when they captured the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Colton Huerta returns to the team with De Phillippi for Sebring, while Tom Blomqvist is the other driver for the 12 Hours.
“Winning at Daytona is very special,” said team principal Bobby Rahal. “When you consider where we finished here last year, then you cannot rate the effort of the entire team highly enough. Congratulations to the complete crew of the No. 25 car. But compliments also go to the No. 24 team, which unfortunately had a few issues in the race.”
The No. 24 BMW Team RLL car ran into its share of problems at Daytona — and wasn’t the only one —which given the conditions and the number of accidents that occurred there understandable and have John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Phillip Eng as the driving trio.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will have its usual two-car entry in the field, with Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 66 Ford GT, while the No. 67 car is in some capable hands in the form of drivers Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon. The No. 67 car did place fourth at Daytona and was also fourth at Sebring last year.
Risi Competizione, which placed second at Daytona, announced it was pulling out of the race last week, leaving the four two-car teams to fight for the class victory.