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Nakajima Out Front at Halfway; Ford Leading GTE-Pro

Toyota continues to dominate 1000 Miles of Sebring as race hits the four-hour mark…

Photo: Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing held a comfortable 1-2 as the FIA World Endurance Championship 1000 Miles of Sebring reached its halfway timestamp.

A couple of Full Course Yellow periods and a Safety Car that took up a total of half an hour during the first half of running mean the race’s eight-hour limit will likely be reached before the distance milestone.

No. 8 Toyota driver Kazuki Nakajima held a 3.023 second advantage over teammate Mike Conway at the four-hour point, while the third-placed No. 3 Rebellion Racing R-13 Gibson was three laps down with Nathanael Berthon at the wheel.

SMP Racing’s No. 11 BR Engineering BR1 AER recovered from an early tire issue with Brendon Hartley moving the Russian-entered car into fourth ahead of the Gibson-powered BR1 run by DragonSpeed.

The No. 11 machine is the only remaining SMP Racing entry after the team’s No. 17 car retired following an accident at one-quarter distance that brought out the safety car for 13 minutes.

In sixth overall and at the front of the LMP2 field remains the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson which has led the majority of the race so far.

GTE-Pro saw Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 67 Ford GT lead away from BMW Team MTEK’s Alexander Sims at the safety car restart and defend his position through the next stint.

Bomarito’s co-driver Harry Tincknell was classified in second at the halfway mark in the Ford but quickly restored his advantage over the No. 81 BMW during a recent bout of pit stops.

The GTE-Am lead changed hands on lap 100 when Giancarlo Fisichella made contact with long-time leader Joerg Bergmeister as the Spirit of Race Ferrari driver tried to dive underneath the Project 1 Porsche into the first corner.

Bergmeister ended up rear-ending into the tire barriers but was able to continue, while the Spirit of Race car was handed a drive-through penalty for its role in the altercation.

However, Fisichella’s co-driver Thomas Flohr managed to maintain the Spirit 488 GTE’s advantage with the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche running close behind in second after the penalty was observed.

Results After 4 Hours

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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