A big crash as the leaders tried to direct traffic in the final stage of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring took out the top three GTP cars as well as several GT cars and produced a surprise winner that shouldn’t have been a surprise.
When it all shook out, the pole position No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R of Pipo Deran, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken – with Aitken at the wheel to the finish line – won the 12 Hours of Sebring in the No. 25 BMW M of Nick Yelloly, Connor De Phillip and Sheldon van der Linde Team RLL M Hybrid V8 finished second. LMP2 winner, John Farano, Kyffin Simpson and Scott McLaughlin’s no. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA, finished third overall.
The No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsports team of Mathieu Jaminet, Nick Tandy, and Dane Cameron finished third in GTP as their scrapped 963 pile was carried back to the Penske carrier in an even keel.
With several late race yellows, the battle to the finish was on with the top five GTP cars in the lead, full of fuel and fresh tires. Jaminet led Filipe Albuquerque’s No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 with Jaminet’s teammate Felipe Nasri’s No. 7 PPM 963 in third. When Jaminet hit traffic in Turn 1, Albuquerque attacked and went inside. But as Jaminet tried to navigate the GT cars, he drifted left, Albuquerque went off the track, lost control and slid through the inside of Turn 3, hitting Jaminet’s Porsche on the other side of the crest. Nasr was next up, hitting the Acura and then the #6. All three cars were finished and Aitken sailed to victory.
All the late yellows also allowed several GTD and GTD PRO cars to go much further on fuel than they otherwise would have been able to, with the top cars in both classes running around 1hr 50mins from the last pit stop to finish. It was the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Pilet, Klaus Bachler and Laurens Vanthoor won GTD PRO and the #1 BMW team of Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers and Corey Lewis claimed GTD for Paul Miller Racing.
One of the late-race incidents ended the LMP3 battle between the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier and the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier. Shortly after No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura restarted the bike, Pietro Fittipaldi went off course and hit the tires. Fittipaldi’s No. 51 Rick Ware Racing ORECA LMP2 wheel bounced across the track – it’s not known if that was the cause or effect of the crash. Fraga in #74 dodged it, Grist in #30 hit the square as it fell from the sky. This left Fraga with a lap in the lead in the car he shared with Gar Robinson and Josh Burdon and was able to cruise to victory.
Full reports to follow.