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LMP2 Leader Montoya Crashes Out in Third Hour

Multi-car accident takes LMP2 leader Juan Pablo Montoya out of 12H Sebring…

Image: IMSA

A multi-car accident at the exit of Turn 1 caused LMP2 class leader Juan Pablo Montoya to retire from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring after two and a half hours.

Montoya was running out front in the No. 81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson that he recently took over from his son Sebastian, the pair driving together for the first time.

However, the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was forced to retire from the race with damage to his car’s front end after contact with two cars from other categories.

LMP3 driver Alec Udell rotated through the first turn, causing a group of cars to check up in reaction to his spinning No. 6 Duqueine D08 Nissan.

One of those was the GTD-contending Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 driven by Erik Johansson.

As Montoya exited Turn 1 at speed, he found nowhere to go as a gap closed in front of his Oreca, between Udell’s car to the left and Johansson’s BMW to the right.

After the impact, the DragonSpeed Oreca ended up on the right-side grass with significant damage, while Montoya stepped out of the car under his own steam.

The accident promoted the Racing Team Nederland Oreca driven by Giedo van der Garde into the LMP2 lead heading into a caution period to facilitate the cleanup of debris.

Johansson and Udell both brought their cars back to the pits, with the Paul Miller BMW showing damage to its left-rear corner.

Several DPi runners were on out-laps when the accident occurred. Action Express Racing’s No. 48 Cadillac DPi-V.R led most of the third hour until Jose Maria Lopez was called to serve consecutive drive-through penalties for pit speeding and having rotating wheels while elevated during a stop.

The penalties elevated the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac into the overall lead.

Jordan Taylor led the GTD Pro class for Corvette Racing but had been facing pressure from TR3 Racing Lamborghini driver Andrea Caldarelli during the third hour.

Two of the leading GTD Pro entries, the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2022 and the No. 25 BMW M4 GT3, went behind the wall with power steering problems.

BMW Team RLL’s remaining Pro entry remains in the hunt, along with the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.

Alegra Motorsports held the upper hand in GTD during the early stages with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, while Performance Tech Motorsports ran first in LMP3.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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