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Sebring Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s notebook from Saturday’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Pipo Derani scored his fourth win at Sebring in five attempts, following a commanding win for he and Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in Saturday’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring. “I think this place likes me,” he said post-race.

***It marked the first Cadillac sweep of the overall podium since last year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, a race also won by Derani and Nasr.

***The No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac of Sebastien Bourdais and Joao Barbosa managed to continue its podium streak, thanks in part to a gamble on fuel strategy for the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis, which went awry on the final lap.

***Both of the Multimtic-run Mazda DPis ran out of fuel and required tows into pit lane post-race. They were classified fourth and fifth. “We had the drivers and cars to compete for the podium but our IMSA-dictated fuel capacity and race length combined to limit our ability to go full attack,” said Multimatic’s Larry Holt.

***A miscue by Bourdais, who missed pit lane on the reconnaissance lap, forced him to start from the rear of the DPi grid.

***Team Penske’s Acura ARX-05 entries ended up making four stops compared to the DPi competition, which all managed three-stop strategies. “Based on the last few races, with where we were with our fuel capacity, we knew it was going to be a tough night in having to save fuel, and that is exactly what it was,” said Juan Pablo Montoya.

***A loose turbocharger fitting for the No. 7 Acura was fixed in an early race stop although the Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor-driven entry also never factored into the outcome of the race.

***Spencer Pigot didn’t realize he ended up winning the LMP2 race until hearing it over the public address system that the DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson was penalized due to Henrik Hedman not meeting the minimum drive time. “I was out of the car and already said good job to Gustavo [Menezes],” Pigot said. “I thought we finished second and then I heard over the loudspeaker that they got a penalty. It was a surprise to me as it was to all of us.”

***It marked Pigot’s first career IMSA victory while co-driver Patrick Kelly has remained undefeated in series competition with his second class win in as many races with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. Kelly teamed with Matt McMurry for class honors at Road America last year.

***Hedman, meanwhile, was 1.394 seconds short of meeting the 45-minute drive time requirement for at least one Bronze-rated driver in the race, which dropped the Rolex 24 at Daytona class-winning entry to fifth in class.

***Pigot told reporters post-race that his sports car plans remain unclear, having only gotten the call up from team principal Bobby Oergel last week to sub for regular driver Simon Trummer, who elected not to travel to the U.S. due to Switzerland’s mandatory quarantine upon return. Trummer instead took part in the European Le Mans Series race last weekend.

***With his 49th victory in series competition, Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin has moved into a three-way tie for fourth on the all-time IMSA win list with the legendary Al Holbert and Butch Leitzinger.

***It marked the 12th victory for Corvette Racing at Sebring and 61st 1-2 team finish in the program’s history.

***AIM Vasser Sullivan and drivers Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz hold an early command of the WeatherTech Sprint Cup points standings, with class victories in the two races to date.

***Lexus currently leads the Sprint Cup manufacturer standings by eight points with Hawksworth and Telitz holding a 12-point lead over teammates Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell, who are tied for second.

***Hawksworth credited the strategy by the Canadian squad for helping propel them to victory on Saturday. “The decisions on pit lane to take four tires at the first stop and then to put full fuel in for the second pit stop and short fuel for the final [stop] made a massive difference,” he said.

***The No. 44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Andy Lally and John Potter was the race’s only retirement, with the GTD entry dropping out with differential issues.

***Michelin, which set 90 of a possible 114 new qualifying or race lap records last year, is now one away from achieving 100 new records since becoming the Official Tire of IMSA. After setting four new marks at Daytona in January (GTLM, GTD poles and LMP2, GTLM race laps), competitors set five new marks last weekend to get to 99.

***New marks set at Daytona included a record GTLM pole lap (Jordan Taylor, Corvette) and record race laps in GS (Dylan Murry, Mercedes-AMG), TCR (Gabby Chaves, Hyundai), LMP2 (Gustavo Menezes) and LMP3 (Scott Andrews) classes across three different series.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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