Kevin Estre ready for ‘special’ Sebring

Porsche GT driver Kevin Estre believes the 1000 Miles of Sebring will be a special race for the FIA World Endurance Championship ahead of the first race at the track since 2012.

Estre, who leads the GTE Drivers’ Championship alongside Michael Christensen, has experience of the Floridian circuit in both the IMSA Sportscar Championship and in the GTC class in the former American Le Mans Series. However, this will be the first time the Porsche factory driver has tackled the circuit as part of the WEC and he believes the combination of the 1000 Miles of Sebring and the Sebring 12 Hours will lead to a special weekend.

“I really like this track. To have both IMSA and WEC on the same weekend is really cool. There are a lot of factory drivers here, it feels like half of the paddock! But, it is cool the track is very special, very challenging, you need a special set-up, you need a good physio!” Estre added.

“It will definitely be a special race for the WEC.”

Along with BMW and Ford, Porsche is tackling both races with factory teams and Estre believes the shared knowledge between the two squads will be of benefit to each other – with the WEC team getting more day running and the IMSA team getting more running in the evening.

Estre said: “We’ve done a test in November with the WEC team, with Gimmi [Bruni] and myself. And then IMSA did a two-day test two or three weeks ago so we shared some data there and during the weekend our race engineers are for sure comparing data and speaking about the set-up options we can have because the cars are very, very close.

“It is the same tyres this year between WEC & IMSA so for sure we can share but we drive in different times of the day, so we have to learn from what they’ve gained in cooler conditions, they learn off us in the hotter conditions so we try to work closely but sometimes the set-up has its differences and then it is tough to compare.”

Despite tackling a longer race – scheduled for eight hours – as just a pair, Estre doesn’t believe the lack of a third driver hinders them.

“At the end, it is only one hour per driver more for the WEC race, which for sure is going to be tough because Sebring is hard. But I think we prepared as well as we can, from my side I did a bit more focus on the arms because it is quite tough here and you have to hold the steering wheel quite strong because of the bumps but that is it,” he explained.