Harry Tincknell moved last year’s winning Mazda team into the lead of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring after a pair of Full Course Yellow periods shook up the DPi order.
The British driver hit the front in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P when Simon Pagenaud pitted his Ally Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R at the end of a long 29-lap stint that was stretched out by the pair of slow periods.
At the end of the third hour, Wayne Taylor Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque held a slender lead over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon. At the same time, an LMP3 car stopped in a hazardous position to bring out the second FCY of the day.
This triggered a round of DPi pit stops, however Pagenaud stayed out to cycle his No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R to the front. Tincknell, meanwhile, advanced several places after initially running fifth in the Mazda.
Pagenaud maintained his position at the restart, but the race was swiftly returned to FCY conditions following a heavy crash that ended the races of two GT Daytona cars.
Franck Perera lost control of his Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo approaching Turn 3 and struck Billy Johnson’s Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, sending both into the outside barriers.
Pagenaud took the subsequent restart after a near-half-hour intervention but was in the pits after only a couple of laps, with his Cadillac reaching the end of its fuel capacity.
Kamui Kobayashi took over the reins of the Ally car that was started by Jimmie Johnson and is set to move back ahead once the main group of DPi cars pits next.
Tincknell assumed the lead at Pagenaud’s stop to pick up the maximum of five IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup points along with his co-drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Oliver Jarvis. Sebring MEC points are distributed after four hours, eight hours and at the finish.
Juan Pablo Montoya overtook former leader Albuquerque at the second restart to move the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 ahead of its Wayne Taylor Racing counterpart.
Dixon was fourth in the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R which led at the end of the opening hour.
In GT Le Mans, Corvette Racing held a firm grip on the opening three hours courtesy of strong stints from Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, but it was Team RLL’s No. 25 BMW M8 GTE which led after the two FCYs and into the first MEC checkpoint.
Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus in the No. 24 Team RLL BMW had Taylor sandwiched in the GTLM top-three at the four-hour mark, with Matt Campbell running fourth in the category’s only Porsche 911 RSR-19 entered by WeatherTech Racing.
BMW’s podium-contending No. 24 car recovered from a drive-through for Jesse Krohn’s involvement in a clash with the No. 99 Team Hardpoint EBM GT Daytona Porsche.
After an early spell of Lexus command, the GTD lead switched over to two different Porsche 911 GT3 R entries in the third and fourth hours.
First, Patrick Long overtook Lexus driver Kyle Kirkwood at the Turn 16 right-hander to put Wright Motorsport ahead.
Long’s co-driver Jan Heylen then slipped to third in the FCY pit cycle, behind Paul Miller Racing’s Corey Lewis and Pfaff Motorsports Porsche driver Laurens Vanthoor.
Lewis’ lead was short-lived as Vanthoor overtook the American on the first lap of green flag running. Lewis was then caught up in an incident at Turn 17 with the No. 99 Porsche, promoting Heylen to second and The Heart of Racing’s Roman de Angelis to third.
PR1/Mathisen Motorsports led the all-ORECA LMP2 class after four hours while Performance Tech Motorsports’ pole-sitting Ligier JS P320 Nissan headed up the LMP3 order.