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Derani Leads 12H Sebring at Halfway Point

Pipo Derani leads Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with half the race completed…

Photo: MPS Agency

Pipo Derani led the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with half of the race completed, while BMW M Team RLL seized the lead in the GTD Pro class.

Derani took the lead during a round of pit stops under caution, caused by an off-track moment for Giorgio Sernagiotto in the No. 47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

The Brazilian’s No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. leapfrogged the other DPi runners when the team opted for a fuel-only stop, allowing it to jump to the front of the queue.

In doing so, Derani regained the lead after losing it during the previous round of stops under green, when a wheel nut issue appeared to cost the team some time and dropped it to third place.

Derani now heads the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor and Mike Rockenfeller’s No. 48 Ally Cadillac, who sits third.

The bright red Cadillac was also ahead at the four-hour mark, meaning it took the maximum available five points for the Michelin Endurance Cup ahead of the No. 48 and the No. 5 JDC-Miller Cadillac.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist still hold the lead in the Endurance Cup drivers’ standings, but are now just one point ahead of the No. 31 and the No. 5 Cadillac crews.

The LMP2 race is led by the No.52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson, with Mikkel Jensen behind the wheel.

The team took the lead in class when Racing Team Nederland installed its Bronze-rated driver, Frits van Eerd, in the No. 29 Oreca and Jensen was able to catch up.

The Dutch squad had been in the class lead after the race-ending crash for the No. 21 DragonSpeed car.

Because it was ahead at the four-hour mark, however, the No.29 car beat the No.52 to the top points haul for the endurance cup.

Riley Motorsports leads LMP3, with Felipe Fraga currently behind the wheel of the No. 74 Ligier JS P320 Nissan ahead of the No. 30 JR III Racing Ligier driven by Dakota Dickerson.

In the GTD Pro class, BMW M Team RLL has captured the lead in class from WeatherTech Racing and Corvette Racing.

The No. 24 BMW M4 GT3, driven by Philipp Eng, sat in third place at the start of the third hour behind the No. 97 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo driven by Jules Gounon and the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Nick Catsburg.

Gounon had captured the lead of the class under pitstops, staying out in front even after Jordan Taylor had brought the Corvette in to hand over to Catsburg.

While Gounon remained out front, Catsburg was caught and passed by Eng’s BMW shortly before the caution brought on by Sernagiotto.

Under the round of stops that followed, Eng and Team RLL performed a fuel-only stop to leapfrog ahead of Gounon and take the lead. The Frenchman still sits in second, with the Corvette closely behind.

Mercedes-AMG teams lead the GTD category one-two, with the lead in the hands of Mike Skeen in the Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Skeen holds a lead of some five seconds over Philip Ellis in the No. 57 Winward Mercedes, while Bill Auberlen completes the top three for BMW squad Turner Motorsport.

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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