If you follow GT motorsports closely, or just happen to know your international speedway tracks, you’ll know Sebring International Speedway is one of the most difficult race tracks in the world. It’s one of the oldest and most historic circuits, which started out as a World War II military base turned race track.
“It’s one of the toughest race tracks in North America. One of the most physically demanding tracks. It just puts cars through a lot – there’s bumps, there’s cracks, and there’s old ash from old concrete on the pavement. There’s all kinds of transitions out there.” – Martin Barkey, driver of Mantella Autosport’s #80 Zz8.R
Kyle Marcelli, another driver of the #80 Z28.R added “Sebring definitely suits the Camaro a little bit better. As I’ve said in the past, it’s a technical track: and there’s a lot of low-speed, torquey corners. A lot of heavy brake zones, and that’s kinda where we strive.”
Mantella used the Camaro’s characteristics to their advantage, which allowed both of its Z28.R’s to finish in 4th and 7th place. “The start was quite a battle. There were cars everywhere, no defined line of where to go, and luckily I came out right behind Martin like we had planned. Our plan was to take corner 7 together, if we could get that far, and Martin was able to take off from me!” – Anthony Mantella, driver #8 Z28.R
Mantella Autosport is only two years old, yet they’ve proven they can handle the stress and demands of qualifying events like Daytona and Sebring. Their next challenge will be Mazda’s Raceway, Laguna Seca.