IMSA Sebring: Derani and Nasr lead Cadillac 1-2-3, Corvette wins in GTLM again

Action Express Racing pair Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr headed a Cadillac podium clean sweep in the third round of the 2020 IMSA SportsCar Championship at Sebring

The Brazilian pair led all but four of the 83-lap distance and crossed the line with 36 seconds in hand over the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac of Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe, as Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais continued their consistent start to the season with a third podium in as many races for JDC-Miller Motorsports.

At the start, Derani's pole-winning Cadillac sprinted into the lead ahead of van der Zande and the #77 Mazda of Tristan Nunez, as front-row starter Juan Pablo Montoya dropped to fourth in the Team Penske Acura.

Derani and van der Zande continued to lead the opening stint until a caution period for a stranded LMP2 car brought the leaders in for their first round of stops.

Nunez lost two positions to team-mate Jonathan Bomarito and Montoya, but swiftly re-passed the Daytona-winning Mazda and pressured Montoya until the next round of stops, when Oliver Jarvis - in for Nunez - emerged ahead of Montoya's co-driver Dane Cameron.

Ahead, the order remained the same with Nasr now aboard the AXR Cadillac stretching his advantage over Briscoe.

The pair were briefly split by the early-stopping second Acura of Helio Castroneves, which had only avoided losing a lap due to the timing of the caution period when he pitted to have a possible mechanical problem checked, but the Brazilian and Ricky Taylor would slip to seventh by the finish.

On lap 45, Bomarito's co-driver Harry Tincknell passed Cameron for fifth, but the need to save fuel in the final stint meant neither Mazda was able to mount a challenge to the leading Cadillacs, allowing Bourdais to move up the order to eventually finish third.

Jarvis kept fourth ahead of Tincknell in the best of the Mazdas, while Cameron and Taylor completed a disappointing day for Penske in sixth and seventh.

Gustavo Menezes and Henrik Hedman had appeared to win the LMP2 class for DragonSpeed, but the team was handed a post-race penalty as Hedman did not fulfil his minimum drive-time of 45 minutes.

That promoted the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Indycar racer Spencer Pigot and Patrick Kelly into first, followed by Performance Tech pair Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson.

In the GT Le Mans class, Corvette secured a second consecutive win for the new C8.R with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner securing a first victory since Long Beach 2018, as contact in the pits spoiled Porsche's day.

Laurens Vanthoor had surged from third to the lead on the opening lap from the Corvettes of Gavin and Jordan Taylor, but contact between the Belgian's #912 Porsche and the #911 of Nick Tandy resulted in damage to both cars.

Vanthoor had to pit for repairs and then made a return visit for failing to follow pitlane protocol, while rubbing bodywork gave Tandy a puncture and a huge moment at Turn 1.

Ahead, Milner led team-mate Antonio Garcia to secure a Corvette 1-2 by less than half a second, with Vanthoor's co-driver Earl Bamber recovering to third ahead of the two Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMWs.

Meanwhile in GT Daytona, Aaron Telitz and Jack Hawksworth scored a second consecutive victory for the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus team, despite early leader Telitz dropping to sixth in the first round of pitstops.

Telitz gradually worked his way back to the lead before handing over to British driver Hawksworth, who rejoined behind the early-stopping Scuderia Corsa Ferrari of Toni Vilander.

But when Vilander again stopped early to take on fuel for the final time, the Finn dropped to third behind Hawksworth and the Turner Motorsports BMW of Bill Auberlen.

Vilander soon passed Auberlen, but fell 1.5sec short of Hawksworth at the finish.

Sebring Grand Prix Results - 83 laps

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 DPi F.Nasr, P.Derani Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac 2h40m36.181s
2 DPi R.van der Zande, R.Briscoe Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Cadillac 36.432s
3 DPi J.Barbosa, S.Bourdais JDC-Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac 56.144s
4 DPi O.Jarvis, T.Nunez Mazda Team Joest Mazda 56.632s
5 DPi J.Bomarito, H.Tincknell Mazda Team Joest Mazda 1m27.300s
6 DPi D.Cameron, J.P.Montoya Acura Team Penske Acura 1m29.280s
7 DPi H.Castroneves, R.Taylor Acura Team Penske Acura 1m30.667s
8 DPi S.Simpson, T.Vautier JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac 1 Lap
9 LMP2 P.Kelly, S.Pigot PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 2 Laps
10 LMP2 C.Cassels, K.Masson Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 3 Laps
11 LMP2 D.Merriman, K.Tilley Era Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 3 Laps
12 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet 6 Laps
13 GTLM A.Garcia, J.Taylor Corvette Racing Chevrolet 6 Laps
14 GTLM E.Bamber, L.Vanthoor Porsche GT Team Porsche 6 Laps
15 GTLM B.Spengler, C.De Phillippi BMW Team RLL BMW 6 Laps
16 GTLM J.Krohn, J.M.Edwards BMW Team RLL BMW 6 Laps
17 GTLM N.Tandy, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 6 Laps
18 GTD J.Hawksworth, A.Telitz AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus 8 Laps
19 GTD C.MacNeil, T.Vilander Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 8 Laps
20 GTD R.Foley, B.Auberlen Turner Motorsport BMW 8 Laps
21 GTD G.Robinson, L.Aschenbach Riley Motorsports Mercedes 8 Laps
22 GTD F.Montecalvo, T.Bell AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus 8 Laps
23 GTD C.Fergus, P.Holton Compass Racing McLaren 9 Laps
24 GTD T.Bechtolsheimer, M.Miller Gradient Racing Acura 9 Laps
25 GTD R.Ferriol, S.Pumpelly Team Hardpoint Audi 10 Laps
26 GTD R.Hardwick, P.Long Wright Motorsports Porsche 12 Laps
27 LMP2 J.Farano, R.Dalziel Tower Motorsport by Starworks ORECA/Gibson 34 Laps
28 LMP2 H.Hedman, G.Menezes DragonSpeed ORECA/Gibson 2 Laps
29 GTD A.Lally, J.Potter GRT Magnus Racing Team Lamborghini Not running

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