Virginia International Raceway April 15-16, 1972
The Bee: Danville, Va., Friday, Apr. 7, 1972
As expected, a Ferrari prototype won the 1972 twelve hours of Sebring almost without effort. The real surprise in the long endurance grind came in the Grand Touring categories. Two Florida drivers, Dave Heinz of Tampa Jacksonville's Peter Gregg, pushed their production GT cars to 4th and 5th places respectively in the overall standings, well ahead of many of the $30,000 factory-backed, racing prototypes. In edging out his old rival Gregg for the number two position, Heinz in a Corvette recorded the best finish by a GT car in the history of the Sebring event. In addition, he gained a class win in the Over 2.5 liter GT category while Gregg, driving a Porsche 911 took home top honors in the Under 2.5 Liter classification.
Gregg and Heinz, both veteran competitors at Virginia International Raceway, plan to return to the Danville track on the weekend of April 15-16 to renew a year-old rivalry that saw its beginning last spring in VIR's inaugural IMSA GT series race. In that contest, Gregg's Porsche took the overall win after a race-long struggle to out-maneuver Heinz' more powerful Corvette. The battle continued throughout the season with Gregg finally capturing the IMSA GT championship. The rematch at VIR will be especially important because of the nature of the 3.2 mile road course. Two long straights that favor lots of American horsepower are linked by tight hairpin turns and esses, enabling the nimbler cars to compensate for their lack of speed. The equalizing characteristics of the track mean that the race will become a personal challenge for the drivers who will have to depend on their driving skills without enjoying any advantage from their choice of cars.
Gregg and Heinz will meet in the VIR 250, which will get under way at 2:15 Sunday April 16, following the Century Series I-100 formula race, to be at 1:15 p.m.