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Porsche Takes Double Sebring GT Wins
- Updated: March 15, 2014
Porsche have taken a double victory in the second round of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with a sweep of the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes in the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR matched the feat achieved by the sister No. 911 entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, taking the win in the second straight round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.
Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister, Porsche’s longtime pairing, teamed with Sebring debutante and class polesitter Michael Christensen to secure the victory. The trio won by 5.296 seconds.
It was a mostly clean race for the No. 912, although there was one incident of contact approaching the eight-hour mark when the No. 912 contacted the No. 49 Spirit of Race Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 on entry to Turn 7. IMSA officials later admitted after the race that an incorrect penalty had been assessed.
But ahead of the 11th and final caution flag, the No. 912 took the opportunity to pit ahead of the rest of the GTLM field, as Bergmeister brought the car home to the finish. The car stayed out when others needed to pit during that caution period.
SRT Motorsports scored its second podium of the year, and first for the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R, with the trio of Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer and Rob Bell in second.
The No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE of Joey Hand, Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx finished third despite no less than four pit speed penalties assessed.
The privateers, the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 Italia and debuting No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR, rounded out the top five with surprise but deserved results.
Krohn’s car featured Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson in their 100th race together as co-drivers, and third driver Andrea Bertolini even led late in the going. Marco Holzer joined Falken full-season drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler in the No. 17.
Elsewhere in GTLM, it was a rough day for the factory Corvette Racing C7.Rs. Between contact, a left rear tire down and a fuel pump replacement, the No. 3 car ended eighth. The No. 4′s day wasn’t much better with a spin and engine pickup issues; that car ended sixth.
In-between the pair was the No. 91 SRT Viper, which lost four laps when Ryan Hunter-Reay lost control at Turn 17 halfway through the race and required both a rear wing and diffuser change.
In GTD, roughly five or six cars had a shot at the class win before Magnus Racing ultimately prevailed with the No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America.
The trio of Andy Lally, John Potter and new third driver Marco Seefried delivered the new car’s first victory, and the team’s first Sebring win as well, by 1.864 seconds.
Lally, like Bergmeister in GTLM, was able to pit earlier than the rest of the class competition ahead of that last caution period and jumped to the lead when others needed to complete their final pit stops.
AIM Autosport came home in second on its TUDOR Championship debut, with the lineup of Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler, Jeff Segal and Maurizio Mediani in the No. 555 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Alex Job Racing came up just short of its record-10th Sebring class victory with third and fourth for its two Porsche 911 GT Americas.
The Team Seattle/AJR No. 23 of Ian James, Mario Farnbacher and Porsche Junior driver Alex Riberas took the final podium position ahead of the WeatherTech-backed No. 22, driven by Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen and Philipp Frommenwiler.
It was a disappointing fourth for the No. 22, as a stop-and-hold plus 80 second penalty was assessed to that car for Incidents.
According to team owner Alex Job, the No. 22 was ruled to have been the car that contacted the aforementioned No. 49 Ferrari, rather than the No. 912. The team served the penalty but the time loss was ultimately too much to recover.
Audi made it into the top five on its Sebring debut of the R8 LMS, with the No. 35 Flying Lizard Motorsports entry driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Seth Neiman and Dion von Moltke.