Sebring is arguably one of the most important races of the Motorsport season for Porsche. Not only does it kick off the 2010 ALMS series, it's the venue where Porsche has more wins than any other manufacturer and home of their first long-distance, endurance race win in 1960 by Hans Herrmann. Rather than cover the ins and outs of the race, we'll leave that to the press releases and just let you know that Porsche took 1st place on the podium in the P2 class and GTC class and fourth in the GT2 class.
Instead, we want to let you know about three events (Hurley Haywood's induction into the Sebring Hall of Fame, Hans Herrmann recounting his (and Porsche's) first win at Sebring and PorschePurist's "behind the scenes" tour of the Flying Lizard Paddock) that took place this past weekend as part of Porsche's overall racing experience.
Hurley Haywood Inducted to the Sebring Hall of Fame
Hurley Haywood has plenty of great memories to choose from over a career spanning 28 starts (more than any other driver) and 2 wins at the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring. However, it's possible his fondest memory might be this past weekend as he was inducted into the prestigious Sebring Hall of Fame in a luncheon ceremony held on Friday the 19th at the Sheraton Chateau Elan hotel overlooking the famous Hairpin at the track.
Racing legend Derek Bell acted as MC for the event where former Sebring winning drivers Phil Walters, John Morton, and Derek Daly were among the other inductees as were former official and promoter Reginald S. Smith and tire manufacturer Michelin.
Hurley was his normal gracious self during his acceptance speech where he told us, "I have so many great memories from Sebring - it will always be such a special place for me." Stealing the show however was Derek Daly and his memorable acceptance speech. Seemingly distracted, as he was called to the podium, it turns out that Daly's son was on the track racing at that very moment, and in the lead. Understandably, Derek was acutely focused on watching his son as he came through the hairpin turn, just outside the banquet hall's window, at the precise moment he was being introduced to the room. We hope to have more video of the lunch for you soon. Derek's acceptance speech was memorable, to say the least.
A Conversation with Hans Herman
Porsche invited Hans Herrmann to this weekend's race to relive his historic Sebring victory and share his stories with a lucky few. PorschePurist had the opportunity to visit with Hans both at the Hall of Fame luncheon and during a question and answer session in the PCA tent at the Porsche Platz.
For those of you unfamiliar with him, Hans is one of racing's most accomplished drivers and known to Porsche motosport fans the world over as the driver to deliver Porsche's first overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as Porsche's very first major overall international endurance victory 50 years ago here at Sebring.
Besides Hans' storied history with Porsche he is perhaps best known for his accident in the 1959 German Grand Prix where he flipped his race car in a horribly spectacular accident that he surprisingly and amazingly walked away from unscathed (see the video above).
Touring the Flying Lizard Paddock
You may remember that we recently held a contest that offered 10 FlatSixes.com readers the opportunity for a "behind-the-scenes" tour of the Flying Lizard Paddock. Taking place this past Thursday evening (at the same time Porsche was filming the video below) the Flying Lizard team accommodated 11 lucky readers who not only took the tour but had the opportunity to meet a few of the Porsche factory drivers as well.
Guided by Eric Ingraham, the tour started in the trailer for the #44 car, moved its way amongst and through the cars and paddock and concluded inside the trailer for the #45 car. Very generous with his time, Eric provided insight into what makes the Flying Lizard team tick, answered questions and pointed out how the whole Flying Lizard team worked together to create a winning mobile work environment over the course of 50 + minutes.