Antonio Garcia, who will share the #3 Corvette C8.R with fulltime teammate Jordan Taylor and endurance partner Tommy Milner, has won the 12 Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing on four occasions – 2009, ’15, ’17 and ’22. He currently sits second in the GTD Pro championship after finishing as runner-up in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
Looking ahead to next week’s second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, he said of 3.74-mile full Sebring course, “It’s a tricky track to learn. After a few laps, it doesn’t feel like you can go around fast but then you get in a groove and everything comes easier. Now that I’ve done it for so many years, it feels like I know every single bump around the track. It’s much easier now…
“You start early in the morning almost with the sunrise for warm-up. Most of the race is super-hot in the middle of the day and then you go straight into the night with a classic March sunset where you don’t see a thing going into Turn 17 and Turn 7.
“Every single aspect of that race is unique. Even if at times it feels like it is undriveable, it’s one of my favorites if not my favorite race of the year.”
Explaining the sunset problem, he said: “Going into Turn 17 and Turn 7, you’re hoping [the sun] gets in the clouds. With a full bright sky, you know it’s going to be really, really tough. At times, I got into the car with three hours to go so that means you get the sunset and then you go full into the dark. You need to pick the right visor and everything needs to be perfect. I’ve been in every single condition around there but for sure in the sunset – if it’s full bright – it’s tricky.
“That’s a time where you don’t want to be fighting too much with somebody or if traffic gets very, very tricky in those conditions because someone may not see you. It’s only 20-25 minutes, but it’s very, very tricky.”
“But I love the whole racetrack at night. When it’s full dark and you know it’s coming to the end of the race, the grip is usually back in the car. That’s the most joyful time of the race. No matter how tired you are, if you are in contention for the win then that’s when the whole magic of Sebring comes.”
Antonio Garcia celebrates after class win at Sebring 12 Hours last year.
Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images