Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

Rojas Up Front at Hour 10

Sebring 12-hour headed for a wide open finish…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Night has fallen at Sebring International Raceway and a few things have altered the complexion of the race heading into the final two hours of the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Memo Rojas has the lead in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley, but any of eight or nine Prototype class cars could capture the overall win.

Joao Barbosa led at the nine-hour mark in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, while each of the top eight Prototypes were on the same lap.

Eighth-hour leaders Extreme Speed Motorsports’ No. 2 HPD ARX-03b driven by Johannes van Overbeek made contact with Bryce Miller’s No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS on exit to Turn 17, with the ensuing cosmetic damage sending the ESM car to the pits.

The ninth full-course yellow flew with three hours and 36 minutes remaining as the left front tire became dislodged from the No. 009 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage entering Turn 7.

Later over the next couple hours there was a great battle as David Brabham in the No. 1 HPD ARX-03b got around Barbosa on the inside of Turn 7 for the lead. Just behind, Sage Karam in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley got around Barbosa shortly thereafter.

At the nine hour and 20-minute mark, the tenth full course yellow flew when Scuderia Corsa’s No. 63 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 stopped on driver’s right of the exit to Turn 16.

Just prior to that yellow, Brabham took the opportunity to pit while others would need to pit during the caution.

On the restart, Rojas in the sister Ganassi entry (the No. 01) passed Brabham for the lead on the restart. Shortly thereafter, Scott Dixon had a spin in the 02 when he lost control on the back side of the circuit, hit a sign board, then rejoined in front of oncoming traffic.

In the other classes, James Gue (No. 54 CORE autosport) and David Heinemeier Hansson (No. 09 RSR Racing) enjoyed a fantastic battle for the PC class lead, although CORE had a minor setback on a pit stop when the team initially put in the wrong seat insert for Colin Braun, who was due to take over the car. Bruno Junqueira later took over the RSR entry.

GTLM saw the No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R up front prior to the 10th yellow, ahead of the No. 93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R and No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR. Like the P class, more than five cars were still on the lead lap (six in total) entering the final two and a half hours.

The sister No. 3 Corvette C7.R had a fuel pump replaced in the ninth hour, which was repaired in less than 12 minutes.

In GTD, the No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 led from the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 and No. 35 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS midway through the 10th hour.

But by the end of the 10th hour, Marco Seefried in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America passed the No. 94 Turner BMW, driven by Markus Palttala, for the class lead. Mario Farnbacher in the No. 23 Team Seattle/AJR Porsche 911 GT America is also in contention.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

1 Comment

More in WeatherTech Championship