Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sebring notes, Thursday, Part 1

Yesterday left little time to post, given the 13-hour drive down from NC the night before. That, and the fact that I was positively knackered by the time the sun rose over the historic 3.7-mile road course here in Sebring, FL. Along with my "crew" (that would be Tim and his wife), we were all wasted from the trip and desperately in need of showers and sleep. By early afternoon, we'd decided to use what little coherency we had left, and retreat to the hotel.

Before we got going, however, I was offered a lap at speed around the course in an Audi R8. This ride, for once, is not a race car but a proper road machine, and I totally agree with Clarkson, it is STUNNING!

The Red Carpet Inn on Rt 27 certainly isn't the worst place I've stayed, but when I have to call the front desk to have someone come up and plug in all of the electrical things (alarm clock, microwave, mini-fridge, hair drier, etc), well, that's just odd. I have my own room, though, so I can sleep. The shower is nice n' hot, the A/C works, and the TV... well, they have good wireless, at least.

Anyway, cleaned up and rested, we were off to the Sebring Gala. For some reason, I'm still among the few of us media types who knows this party exists -- which is amazing, considering "free open bar" usually attracts everyone in the room. I was self-appointed Designated Driver last night, not wanting to overdo it and have hell to pay on Thursday, so my company took advantage of the free booze. PatrĂ³n is entering racing in a big way this year, both as a series/race sponsor as well as full sponsor of David Brabham's P2 Highcroft Racing Acura. So, to underscore their commitment to the American Le Mans Series, they saw fit to have their own Tequila bar at the gala, and do their best to get everyone annihilated. I had one small "Le Mans-arita" and a couple sips of a "Brabham Bender," their term for a straight shot of their agave silver. Good stuff, even if tequila isn't usually my thing.

This time, they weren't serving Tilt, so I didn't get "tilted" like I did last year. And I'm not rooming near Aunt Nancy, so I'm not getting attacked by the Grey Goose, either.

Time for GT-class combined qualifying -- either Jan Magnussen or Max Papis should take the pole.

More stuff later, as time permits!

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