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Porsche Takes GTE-Pro Win in Late-Race Rain Drama

Gimmi Bruni sneaks out ahead of Nicky Catsburg in late-race shower…

Photo: MPS Agency

Porsche GT Team has claimed GTE-Pro class honors in the 1000 Miles of Sebring following a late-race rain shower that shook up the running order.

Gianmaria Bruni took the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR to he and Richard Lietz’s first win of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship season, which ended under safety car conditions.

The Italian, who was trailing the No. 81 Team MTEK BMW M8 GTE of Nicky Catsburg in the closing hour, recovered more than 13 seconds in the rain-soaked final 25 minutes thanks to a quicker stop for wet Michelin tires by the Manthey-run crew.

Bruni rejoined just ahead of Catsburg with 18 minutes to go and fended off the Dutchman until the safety car was deployed five minutes later for an accident by the No. 28 TDS Racing Oreca 07 Gibson of Loic Duval.

The race, which ran to the maximum eight-hour time limit, did not return to green.

It marked Porsche’s third class win of the season, which has seen the German manufacturer extend its lead in the World GT Manufacturers’ Championship.

Catsburg and co-drivers Martin Tomczyk and Alexander Sims were forced to settle for second, although were due a stop for a splash of fuel, which would have put them behind the class-winning Porsche.

The No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx and Jonathan Bomarito completed the class podium in third after leading at stages throughout the race.

James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra made it four different manufacturers in the top-four in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, followed by the class pole-sitting No. 92 Porsche in fifth.

Both of the Aston Martin Vantage GTEs suffered delays, as well as the No. 66 Ford, which was held up with alternator issues in the second hour. 

Dempsey Proton Claims GTE-Am Win

Porsche claimed a double win on Friday with the No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing entry of Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer and Christian Ried taking GTE-Am class honors.

Campbell took over the class lead in the final hour following the second-to-final pit stop, after Andlauer managed to significantly close the gap to the then-leading No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche of Patrick Lindsey.

Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in the No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari, followed by Lindsey’s Porsche, which was taken to the finish by Joerg Bergmeister.

RESULTS: 1000 Miles of Sebring

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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