Nick Tandy secured the first major endurance win for the mid-engined Porsche 911 RSR by holding off Alexander Sims in the final hour to take GT Le Mans honors in Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Tandy and co-drivers Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki went to the front with just under two hours remaining when Pilet muscled past Toni Vilander’s Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE in Turn 17.
Solid work by the Porsche crew on the final pit stop kept the Porsche in the lead despite the best efforts of Sims in the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE, which ran at the front all day for BMW Team RLL.
Sims managed to cut a five-second deficit down to under three seconds in the half hour but could get no closer, ultimately finishing 6.230 seconds behind the class winners.
Laurens Vanthoor ensured both Porsches were represented on the class podium with a strong final stint in the No. 912 entry.
The victory for the No. 911 was the second win in international competition following its maiden victory at Lime Rock Park last year.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe, Risi Competizione’s Alessandro Pier Guidi, and Oliver Gavin of Corvette Racing finished fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.
The top five in class all finished on the lead lap.
While the No. 25 BMW carried the torch, the sister No. 24 entry was sidetracked by front end damage in the fifth hour after leading in the early going and was credited with a seventh-place finish.
The No. 3 Corvette C7.R suffered through a variety of maladies, most notably a recurring alternator problem that appeared to materialize just over an hour into the race.
It was scored in eighth, followed by the No. 66 Ford GT, which had to be towed back to the pits with 80 minutes left in the race after stopping on track.
Late Pass Gives Paul Miller Racing GT Daytona Class Win
Bryan Sellers made an audacious outside pass of Jeroen Bleekemolen in Turn 1 with 47 minutes remaining to GT Daytona honors.
Sellers and Paul Miller Racing co-drivers Madison Snow and Corey Lewis hung around the front of the field for the bulk of the race in the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and led going into the final round of pit stops.
That changed briefly in the final hour when quick pit work by Riley Team AMG got Jeroen Bleekemolen out ahead of Sellers, but the Dutchman couldn’t keep the Lamborghini behind him for long.
Once around the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Sellers pulled away and held on for the win by 8.169 seconds over Alessandro Balzan in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.
Balzan began the final hour fourth in class but caught and passed Christopher Mies in the No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS and then Bleekemolen’s Mercedes to finish second.
The victory at Sebring marks the second-consecutive major endurance class triumph for Lamborghini after Grasser Racing Team’s victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona last month.
The Land trio of Mies, Sheldon van der Linde, and Alessio Picariello, meanwhile, took fourth with Jack Hawksworth’s 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 completing the top-five in class.
The top 10 cars in GTD all finished on the lead lap.
RESULTS: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring