Kyle Marcelli led the field to a restart with 40 minute to go and sprinted away to give KohR Motorsports wins in back-to-back years at the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 at Sebring.
Marcelli in the No. 60 Ford Mustang GT4 held off Classic BMW driver Toby Grahovec’s BMW M4 GT4 by 7.651 seconds to secure the victory.
The team won at Sebring last year with drivers Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford.
Marcelli’s co-driver Nate Stacy turned in a solid opening stint after starting the race in 14th.
The KohR squad had already made its final stop under green and was promoted to the race lead when the race leaders came to pit road under the final yellow. It was a lead which Marcelli would not relinquish.
The final caution that played into KohR’s strategy came after the majority of the GS field had made their final pit stops.
The timing of the yellow flag incident caught out several of the early contenders including the pole sitting No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR of Dillon Machavern and Spencer Pumpelly.
Pumpelly controlled the early stages of the race from pole and had raced his way back into the lead following a pit stop on the first yellow, but the car was cycled to the rear again when Pumpelly pitted under the second yellow for the last time to turn the car over to Machavern.
The reigning Continental Tire Challenge GS champion managed to salvage a third-place finish with a strong final stint, followed by Greg Liefooghe in the No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 in fourth and Joey Atterbury in the No. 59 KohR Motorsports Mustang in fifth.
Compass Racing Takes TCR Victory
Kuno Wittmer and Rodrigo Sales overcame brake problems and a cut tire in the No. 74 Compass Racing Audi RS3 TCR to win in the TCR class when their sister No. 77 Audi TCR ground to a halt from the lead on the final lap with Tom Long behind the wheel.
The misfortune for Long and his co-driver Britt Casey Jr. promoted brothers Tanner and Luke Rumberg to the second step on the podium in their Rumcastle No. 31 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
Lee Carpentier and Kieron O’Rourke completed the class podium in the No. 10 eEuroparts.com Racing Audi TCR.
MINI Back in Victory Lane in ST
Mark Pombo and Jared Salinsky, meanwhile, survived a wild race in ST to claim class victory in the No. 52 MINI.
Early class frontrunners Nick Galante in the No. 81 BimmerWorld racing BMW 328i and Nate Norenberg in the polesitting No. 73 MINI were sidetracked when they made contact fighting for the class lead just over ten minutes into the two-hour race.
Norenberg and co-driver Mat Pombo overcame the contact and subsequent drive-through penalty for incident responsibility to finish second, while Galante and BimmerWorld were unable to recover and settled for fifth.
The No. 21 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman of Jase Rabe and Max Faulkner completed the class podium in third and are provisionally the class points leaders leaving Sebring.
RESULTS: Alan Jay Automotive Network 120