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Pfaff Gives New Porsche 911 GT3 R Maiden Victory at Sebring

Pfaff Motorsports takes strategic victory in nailbiting Twelve Hours of Sebring…

Photo: Porsche

Pfaff Motorsports took the GTD Pro class victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, benefiting from a well-timed strategy call to take the Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 R’s first win.

The No. 9 Porsche, piloted by Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet and Laurens Vanthoor, finished 2.7 seconds ahead of the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood.

Both cars vaulted into the class lead of the race with a well-timed pitstop in the eighth hour, with Bachler and Kirkwood heading for the pits moments before a full course caution triggered by a collision between Wright Motorsports’ Zach Robichon and Winward Racing’s Philip Ellis.

As a result, the Porsche was able to grab the lead and hold on to it through a chaotic final stage of the race that was interrupted by multiple cautions.

It is the first victory for Porsche’s new-for-2023 GT3 challenger, which made its race debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Daniel Juncadella, Maro Engel and Jules Gounon completed the top three in GTD Pro after it pitted for a late splash in the final hour.

Jordan Pepper, Franck Perera and Romain Grosjean came home fourth in the No. 63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, with the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD of Jordan Taylor, Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner completing the top five.

The American squad was an early contender for class honors, but fell off the lead lap when a left rear damper had to be replace in Hour 9.

Risi Competizione finished sixth, seeing a potential podium finish dashed when it was taken out in a multi-car incident involving the GTP class leaders deep within the final hour of the race.

Paul Miller Racing leads BMW 1-2 in GTD

Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis took Paul Miller Racing to victory in GTD, leading a BMW 1-2  ahead of Turner Motorsport.

The No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 of Snow held off the No. 96 car of Patrick Gallagher, Michael Dinan and Robby Foley while dealing with brake issues to win, with the No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche of David Brule, Alec Udell and Julien Andlauer third.

The battle for the victory in GTD took a key turn in the ninth hour when the No. 16 Wright Porsche and No. 57 Winward Mercedes came together at Turn 1 after a lengthy battle for the lead.

While Wright’s Robichon continued following an impact with the tire barrier, the Mercedes retired with front-right suspension damage.

Snow initially went through to take the lead, before dropping back behind the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes.

Both cars made fuel stops in the final hour and were then both eliminated in separate incidents.

Marco Sorensen was pitched into the barrier in the Aston Martin after contact with another car, while Korthoff’s Mikael Grenier served a drive through penalty with the No. 44 Magnus Racing Aston Martin.

RESULTS: 12H Sebring

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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