Starworks Motorsports Modifies Driver Lineup Heading into Sebring 12 Hour
After a difficult few weeks, Starworks Motorsports will return to Sebring, Florida with a two car effort for the 64th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Field by Fresh from Florida. In late February, one of the team semi-tractor trailers was stolen from the Popano Beach race shop and was eventually found late that night, abandoned in the Everglades, thanks to a tip from a follower on twitter. The team also had to send one of its ORECA FLM0s back to Germany when it reached its maximum time allowed in the United States. Once re-imported, the car had a new motor installed, as well as a complete replacement of all electronics.
“Despite all the struggles of the last month and a half, I think we are ready to get our first win this season,” said Starworks Motorsports owner Peter Baron. “I believe we have the two strongest lineups in our class.”
The team won the event 2012 class with drivers Ryan Dalziel, Enzo Potolicchio and Stephane Sarrazin. Heading into the second race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Starworks will slightly modify its driver lineup from Round One at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Driving the No. 8 ORECA FLM0 will be full time drivers Alex Popow and Renger van der Zande. David Heinemeier Hansson will replace the Daytona lineup of Jack Hawksworth and Chris Cumming, for this event as well as Sebring. Between Popow, van der Zande and Heinemeier Hansson, the No. 8 car represents one Sebring win (Popow) and four podium finishes.
“I’m extremely happy to also have David Heinemeier Hansson in our cars for Sebring and the Petit,” said Baron. “There is no doubt David is one of the fastest silvers out there currently. He was second last year and he’s back to get the win.”
Three Sebring rookies will run in the No. 88 Popcorn Sutton ORECA FLM0, with Daytona drivers Sean Johnston and Maro Engel. Forced to withdraw due to a prior commitment, full season driver Mark Kvamme will be replaced by British racer Michael Lyons. Most recently, the 25 year old finished 2nd in the Blancpain Endurance Pro-Cup in 2015.
“It’s unfortunate that Mark Kvamme could not make it, he will be extremely missed,” said Baron. “We’re happy to introduce Michael Lyons to IMSA racing as he fills in for Mark. Michael comes to us with an exceptional record and a great deal experience in prototype cars.”
“I was thrilled when Peter called me with the opportunity to fill in for Kvamme,” said Lyons. “I’ve known of Starworks for a long time after seeing their success in Europe winning WEC and Le Mans in P2 back in 2012. I’m really looking forward to making my debut race in the United States at such an iconic event as the Twelve Hours of Sebring! With the strong teammates I have in Sean and Maro we should stand a good chance.”
“I believe we have the two strongest lineups in our class,” concluded Baron. “I believe if we can avoid any luck either good, or bad we have two cars that are serious threats for the win.”
The drivers and crew just completed a one day test at Sebring International Raceway in the No. 88, and will resume official practice sessions Thursday, March 17th. The Twelve Hours of Sebring will begin Saturday at 10:40am. For schedule and viewing information, visit imsa.com.