Action Express Racing won the 71st 12 Hours of Sebring for Cadillac after a late-race multi-car crash that took out the leading three cars of the new GTP class in the closing minutes.
Aside from a pit speeding penalty, the Acura #10 of Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Louis Deletraz had a seemingly comfortable race until a series of late restarts pitted them against the #6 Porsche of Mathieu Jaminet, Nick Tandy and Dane Cameron. .
Albuquerque and Jaminet battled for the win in the dark as they collided with GTD traffic in the closing minutes and took each other out – Felipe Nasri’s other Penske Porsche piled up in the crash and took the top three cars. direct.
This left the door open for the #31 AXR Cadillac of Pipo Deran, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken to steal the win. Derani took his fourth overall win at Sebring.
In a race of varying fortunes, the lead was back and forth in the early stages between Cadillac of Action Express Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing and WTR’s Acura and Andretti Autosport for much of the event – all events had some kind of drama. .
The #31 AXR car had to recover from an early collision with an LMP3 car, requiring several pit stops to repair the nose section and left wing mirror. The #01 CGR entry suffered two spins, giving the advantage to the WTR Acura.
Taylor received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits after just over four hours, which meant that all three of the fastest cars were sent to the back of the field at some point.
After three hours, Sebastien Bourdais took the lead in a CGR Cadillac on fire. Another front-runner, the Rolex 24 Hours winner Meyer Shank Racing Acura, was in the mix for the last couple of hours until the left rear wheel separated with Tom Blomqvist on board.
After 75 minutes, WTR’s main challenger suddenly became the Porsche 963 pair of Nasr and Jaminet, who overtook Aitken’s AXR Caddy, which suffered a refueling problem shortly after the restart, into third.
The #7 Porsche enjoyed the cleanest race of any GTP car until it was handed a late penalty for a team working on the car outside its pit box, while the #6 car bounced back after colliding with a GTD car. An LMP3 car in yellow and another odd problem early on that caused steam to fill the cockpit.
On the restart less than an hour later, Jaminet passed Nasr for second and then attacked Albuquerque for the lead. Jaminet passed him in a wild move that saw them rub wheels, but Albuquerque pounced and kicked him off the track a few corners later to regain the top spot.
Aitken was left to take the lead 32 minutes ahead of Jaminet, who won from the Albuquerque pits. Jaminet repeated his move from earlier, this time leading Aitken, while Albuquerque beat Aitken wide. Albuquerque, Nasr and Aitken ran three wide into Turn 1, and Albuquerque forced his way into second.
Jaminet jumped ahead by 1.2 seconds, but when the leaders hit a junction, the late Jaminet and Albuquerque collided, the WTR car hit the inside guardrail and spun out of control on the inside of Turn 3. was hit by Jaminet, who simultaneously crashed into a GTD car. Nasr then arrived and collided with Albuquerque and Jaminet by flying above his teammate. Not all drivers were injured.
Aitken survived the chaos to take the lead ahead of the #25 BMW of Nick Yelloly, Sheldon van der Linde and Connor de Phillip – the only GTP car still running.
The race restarted after four minutes with Aitke cruising home ahead of Yelloly.
#8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07: John Farano, Scott McLaughlin, Kyffin Simpson
Photo: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
Ben Keating (PR1/Mathiasen ORECA) starred in the opening stages, but his #52 car fell back as the #04 Crowdstrike by APR entry moved to the front.
After the heartbreak of losing the Rolex 24 in the closing yards, things looked bleak for the APR car as George Kurtz caused the race to spin a second yellow, and Ben Hanley suffered a further scare when he spun a few at Sunset Bend. hours later.
One of its main competitors, the #8 Tower Motorsports car of Scott McLaughlin, John Farano and Kyffin Simpson, suffered a blow when the latter shunted at the entrance to Turn 1. Simpson was able to drag it back to the pit holding it in place. to hunt for profit.
IndyCar star McLaughlin tore his way to the front on the final restart, beating Jensen by just 0.834 seconds, the #52 brought home by Paul-Loup Chatin in the #18 Era Motorsport car of Christian Rasmussen, Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman. The #04 APR car dropped to fifth with an even bigger late due to the disappointment of the competition.
This class started with a bang as Lance Willsey spun the #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier into Turn 1 and 28 GTD cars avoided him as he sat stuck in the middle of the track. Glenn van Barlo (#36 Andretti Autosport) led the class initially before the #85 JDC-Miller MotorSports car of Dan Goldburg took over.
The #30 JR III Ligier of Dakota Dickerson, Ari Balough and Garett Grist took command of the class ahead of the #74 Riley of Gar Robinson, Felipe Fraga and Josh Burdon. But the No.30 was agonizingly removed by a flying wheel from Pietro Fittipaldi’s P2 car after 75 minutes.
This allowed the #74 car a clear run to victory, and it won by a lap.
#9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R: Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet, Laurens Vanthoor
Photo: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
GTD / GTD Pro
After the chaos of Turn 1 where the pack found Willsey’s car stranded in the middle of the track on the racetrack, GTD Pro began a duel between Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner’s #3 Corvette Racing C8.R. and the #79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG-GT3 of Daniel Juncadella, Jules Gounon and Maro Engel.
But with just under four hours remaining, the Corvette suffered a left rear fender problem that took it off the lead and sent it down a lap.
This opened the door for the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche team, whose 911 GT3 R was overtaken by Sebring rookie Klaus Bachler in qualifying. After an all-night and near-stop with a spinning LMP3 car that almost ended its race at the first corner, Bachler and Laurens Vanthoor and Patrick Pilet charged through the field to get in front of the Mercedes.
The #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 was always a mess, and thanks to several late cautions, Garcia was suddenly back in contention after regaining his spit – until he was taken out in a chaotic GTP crash near the finish.
Pilet pulled away in the closing stages to finish ahead of Jack Hawksworth’s Lexus by 2.7 seconds and Juncadella in the Merc.
The Non-Pro GTD class was won by the Paul Miller Racing BMW of Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis, driven home by the #96 Turner Motorsports car of Patrick Gallagher, Robby Foley and Michael Dinan.
Results of the competition:
|2||25||C. De Phillips
S. van der Linde
T. van der Helm
|27||92||David Brule Sr.
Kay van Berlo
|42||27||Roman De Angelis
R. van der Zande
Glenn van Berlo
G. van der Garde