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Mazda endurance racers on their secrets for surviving Sebring

What’s special about this 3.6-mile circuit?

OJ “The track and the race itself is, for me, everything that motorsport is about. It pushes the car and the driver to the absolute limit. It’s only 12 hours but physically and mentally what you go through at Sebring is comparable to 24 at any other track.”

Harry, what did it mean to win last year?

Harry Tincknell: “It was a great feeling, because it’s a major race. We were back there for a test at the start of this year, and to see your name up on the board as a winner beside the likes of Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio is incredible.

“And so are the bumps! It’s amazing how you get used to them. When you first get there, it feels like you’re about to take off every single lap. You’re doing around 160mph on entry at Turn 1, and at the exit, when you’re still doing 140-150mph, if you hit a bump, you can land three or four metres to the right of where you were.

“The last corner, Turn 17, is another one: massively bumpy and it goes on forever, like a wall of death to the exit and with no run-off. There are about six or seven different lines depending on the type of car you are driving. It’s different every single lap, and it’s particularly scary on a qualifying lap. You come out of Turn 16 down the back straight and you see on the dash you’re up on lap time, so you’ve really got to send it into 17 to finish the lap off. As you turn and brake from 160-170mph, all you can see is the tyre wall in the distance, and you just pray the car will grip up and you won’t catch a bump.”

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