Audi Driver Dindo Capello about Sebring
The 2007 American Le Mans Series begins on one of the worlds toughest and roughest race tracks: Sebring (USA). Audi is unbeaten at Sebring since 2000 and aims to continue its winning streak with the R10 TDI on Saturday. Audi factory driver Dindo Capello, a Sebring winner in 2001, 2002 and 2006, comments on the 3.7-mile track situated in Florida and based on a former airfield.
What does Sebring mean to you?
“I will never forget my first sportscar race which I drove on this track, finishing on the podium alongside Michele Alboreto and Stefan Johansson. Since that occasion in 1999, Sebring has always been a great race for me and Audi. I have won three times here from six races. Furthermore I have always finished on the podium apart from 2003 when I raced for Bentley. For me, Sebring is the track I like most in the whole world.
Sebring is famous for its bumps. What does this mean for the drivers and the cars?
“The first time I came to Sebring I was shocked about how bumpy the track was and it still is. What I can feel in the cockpit is the difference between when we started the sportscar programme and now: Audi has continually improved the car with each year making it smoother over the rough surface. Today, with the Audi R10 TDI, we can ride the bumps in a very good way which definitely makes our life at Sebring a little bit easier.
How difficult is racing into the night at Sebring?
“The first laps in darkness are very difficult. There are some points where you have nothing to focus on. You need some laps to get used to these conditions. Once you are used to it, you can push not exactly like in the daylight, but the difference in lap times is not so big. However, the first laps in the dark for me are much more difficult at Sebring than at Le Mans.
Which corner do you like most?
“There are so many good corners. Definitely corners 1 and 17 are the two fastest and most demanding ones. When you ride through these corners you feel that you are really on the limit and that the aerodynamics are working at their best. But there are many other corners at Sebring which look easy at first sight but are still very difficult.
Does traffic cause a problem at Sebring?
“Yes, for sure! You have almost the same number of cars like at Le Mans, but the track is only have the length of Le Mans and is half the width. This makes it really difficult.