Sebring: Home of KW Solid Piston Technology – our motorsport customers celebrate GTD and GTD-Pro victories

Anyone who has ever experienced Sebring will never forget the time-honored circuit in the heart of Florida. By contrast, the racetrack, which was built on a former air base, is a horror for many race drivers and chassis engineers. The reason: Almost a third of the track is not asphalt, but old concrete.

It’s no wonder that the familiar phrase “Respect The Bumps” is known to basically every die-hard motorsports fan. Our Canadian motorsports client and defending champion Pfaff Motorsports had already experienced some real drama in the qualifying for the 71st Sebring race.

Klaus Bachler touched the track barrier and the Canadians had already written off their Porsche 911 GT3 R #9. “I’m really at a loss for words. Yesterday I lost control of the car because of a small mistake and slid into the track barrier. That was tough for the team and also for me because that’s the worst thing that can happen in qualifying,” said Klaus Bachler.

Luckily, the damage to the new Porsche customer sports car seemed greater than it actually was in the end. The 911 GT3 R #9 was able to start the race with its KW V6 Racing dampers. Admittedly, the three Porsche drivers Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet, and Laurens Vanthoor started from the last GTD Pro class position.

Over the entire distance, the lead in the GTD Pro class changed every half hour and the Canadian Porsche team worked its way up from position seven to the top over the course of the first hours. In the end, the new Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) #9 celebrated a 2.7-second lead over the Vassere Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 #14 and Weather Tech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 #79.

Radiant winners: Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet, and Laurens Vanthoor win in the GTD Pro class at Sebring in the Pfaff Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R

“But the team did an incredible job and fixed the car. I was so happy that we were able to race today. We went for a strategy that worked out completely. The team is excellent at these things. We allowed ourselves zero mistakes and won the 12 Hours of Sebring. It’s quite a roller coaster of emotions.”

Double victory for BMW and third place for Porsche in the GTD

The BMW M4 GT3 customer team Paul Miller Racing (#1) won ahead of the M4 GT3 of Turner Motorsport (#96)

Sure, at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the prototype race cars based on the GTP and LMP2 regulations, are the superfast stars, but the GT3 customer teams always offer great sports as well. In the so-called GTD class, professional racers and amateurs share the cockpit of a GT3 race car.

The three Americans Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, and Corey Lewis had a lead of 1.532 seconds over the Turner Motorsport M4 GT3

In the GTD class, Paul Miller Racing’s BMW M4 GT3 (#1) celebrated its first class win at Sebring. But BMW’s customer sports division had even more reason to celebrate in the USA, as the Turner Motorsport M4 GT3 also impressed on the bumpy Sebring track.

Drivers Robby Foley, Patrick Gallagher, and Michael Dinan were the lucky runners-up in the Turner Motorsport M4 GT3 (#96). Turner Motorsport’s sister car, on the other hand, was less fortunate. The #95 BMW M4 GT3 and driver trio Chandler Hull, Bill Auberlen, and John Edwards finished last in GTD-Pro.

The Porsche team Kellymoss with Riley in the new 992 GT3 R finished third in GTD. With his teammates David Brule and Alec Udell, Julien Andlauer celebrated a podium finish in the highly competitive class.

The sister car and the two 911 GT3 R cars from Wright Motorsports finished sixth, seventh, and eighth.

The bright green “Rexy” 911 of the AO Racing team finished the race in 16th place in its class.

Double victory for Turner Motorsport in the IMPC

Thursday, March 16, 2023, already ended with a one-two finish for Turner Motorsport with their two BMW M4 GT4s, which are homologized with KW Solid Piston Motorsport dampers just like the BMW M3 GT3s and Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Dual performance adjustable KW V5 Racing Solid Piston damper BMW M4 GT4

Our solid piston dampers from the KW Competition or KW Racing program can perform much better on short spring travel due to their design. Regardless of whether the dampers have two-way, four-way, or five-way adjustable valves.

Cross-section of a KW V6 Racing damper used in the current BMW M4 GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)

Due to their design, our solid pistons are simply made for racetracks like Sebring or the so-called “Eifel roller coaster” Nordschleife.

Interested in finding out more about Solid Piston and Racing dampers in GT3 motorsports? We got you covered – discover more in this older blog story.

Photos: BMW Motorsport, Porsche Motorsport

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