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WeatherTech Championship

Castroneves Out Front in Hour 5

Helio Castroneves leads overall at Sebring in Hour 5…

Photo: IMSA

Helio Castroneves leads the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring as the race enters its fifth hour after some clever pit strategy from Acura Team Penske.

The Brazilian cycled through to the top spot under the most recent caution period which was necessitated by a tent blowing onto the track between Turn 10 and Turn 11.

With a caution imminent, Castroneves brought his No. 7 Acura ARX-05 into the pit lane just before the pits were closed and got his service complete. When the rest of the Prototype field pitted under the yellow, it promoted Castroneves to the front of the field.

A brief third caution period immedietley followed the second when Alex Brundle spun the No. 32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 Gibson coming to the green. He was able to continue but not before the safety car was deployed.

Pipo Derani currently runs second overall in the No. 22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi with the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Mike Conway third.

Oliver Gavin and the No. 4 Corvette Racing entry also benefited from the second caution and leads in the GT Le Mans category ahead of James Calado’s Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE and Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR.

The No. 24 BMW M8 GTE, an early frontrunner in the class, had to make an unscheduled pit stop to make significant repairs to the nose of the car, possibly due to contact between driver John Edwards and the No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller.

Mueller pitted shortly thereafter with a left rear tire puncture.

Jeroen Bleekemolen is out front in GT Daytona in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Problems popped up for the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P in the fourth hour when Tristan Nunez was forced to bring the car to pit lane with braking issues. The car rejoined after over 20 minutes of repairs well down the running order.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac also experienced problems in the fourth hour and made an extra pit stop to add water. It currently runs eighth overall in the hands of Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Also of note, the CJ Wilson Racing operation was forced behind the wall briefly to make repairs to left front damage.

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.


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