Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr, in his racing return from COVID-19, have scored dominant victory in Saturday’s Cadillac Grand Prix or Sebring.
The Action Express Racing duo claimed their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory since last year’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, following a commanding flag-to-flag run for the Whelen-sponsored Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Derani, who started on pole, stretched out into an early lead over the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac of Renger van der Zande, with the positions remaining stable throughout the two-hour and 40-minute contest.
Nasr crossed the line 36.432 seconds ahead of Ryan Briscoe.
The No. 77 Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis appeared to be set for a third place finish until getting passed by the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac of Sebastien Bourdais on the final lap, making it a Cadillac sweep of the podium.
Jarvis crossed the line in fourth before running out of fuel, with the sister No. 55 Mazda also stopping on track on the final lap.
Neither the Mazdas or pair of Team Penske Acura ARX-05 entries were a match for the Cadillacs on Saturday.
Helio Castroneves pitted on Lap 13 with a turbo-related issue to his No. 7 Acura DPi, while defending series champions Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya faded down the running order to a seventh place finish.
DragonSpeed took its second class victory in as many LMP2 races this year, with Henrik Hedman and super sub Gustavo Menezes coming out on top after a race-long battle with the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson.
Pole-sitter Patrick Kelly stretched out into a commanding lead although an early stop and driver change for the No. 81 DragonSpeed put Menezes in prime position over the PR1/Mathiasen car, despite a strong challenge from open-wheel ace Spencer Pigot.
Rebellion LMP1 star Menezes, filling in for team regular Ben Hanley, finished 12.258 seconds ahead of Pigot.
Corvette Dominates GTLM After Porsches Falter
Corvette Racing scored its second consecutive class victory and 101st win in IMSA competition after its closest challenger, Porsche, self-destructed with a costly pit lane collision.
Tommy Milner took the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to a 0.480-second win over the Daytona class-winning No. 3 entry of Antonio Garcia.
Garcia’s co-driver Jordan Taylor led early on, with the positions having swapped following a round of pit stops in the second hour.
It marked the first win for Milner and co-driver Oliver Gavin since Long Beach 2018 and their first with the mid-engined Corvette.
An impressive recovery drive by Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber was rewarded with a third place class finish for the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR-19, which lost its nose while getting clipped by the sister No. 911 Porsche of Nick Tandy during the first round of pit stops.
Quick repair work by the CORE autosport-run squad got Vanthoor back out, and despite serving a drive-through penalty for “pit lane protocol” managed to still finish ahead of the pair of Team RLL BMW M8 GTEs.
The No. 911 Porsche of Tandy and Fred Makowiecki was sixth after Tandy sustained a right-rear puncture under green flag conditions that was triggered by the contact.
Hawksworth, Telitz Double Up in GTD
Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz claimed their second consecutive class win in GT Daytona, in another controlling run for Lexus.
Hawksworth held off a hard-charging No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Toni Vilander by 1.510 seconds for victory in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3.
Frankie Montecalvo led from class pole although lost the lead to Telitz prior to the race’s only full-course caution at the 25-minute mark.
While on different fuel strategies, Vilander took over the lead in the second hour but dropped to third following the final round of stops due to a longer refueling stop for the Ferrari.
The Finn passed the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Bill Auberlen with 16 minutes to go, relegating Auberlen and Robby Foley to third.
The No. 74 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and No. 14 AVS Lexus completed the top-five in class.
RESULTS: Cadillac GP of Sebring