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Race report

Sebring 12H: Ganassi Cadillac overcomes late drama to win

Chip Ganassi Racing’s #02 car won the Sebring 12 Hours, the second round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, after an action-packed ending to the American classic.

#02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Neel Jani

Art Fleischmann

Following a blisteringly hot spring day at the Florida venue, the battle in the overall Daytona Prototype international class swung back and forth between Cadillac and Acura throughout the day.

Acura held a 1-2 for a time in the heat of the afternoon, but as high daytime temperatures receded the Cadillacs showed their true dominance at the business end in the darkness. 

After its pole-sitting #1 Cadillac DPi-V.R hit transmission dramas from the opening lap, Ganassi’s #02 car – shared by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Neel Jani – hit the front just as the sun went down and the longest green flag run of the race occurred.

There was late drama, however, when Bamber – who had just taken over the #02 – clipped the #13 AWA Duqueine LMP3 car into a spin with just over an hour remaining. That lost his lead to the JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac of Richard Westbrook, in which he was partnered by defending event winners Loic Duval and Tristan Vautier. 

Bamber quickly set about atoning for his error and chased down Westbrook, retaking the top spot with 58 minutes to go. Astonishingly, further around the lap, Bamber then clipped a GTD Ferrari and spun, handing the lead back to Westbrook.

Bamber had to overturn a 6.5s deficit to Westbrook and passed him again with 45 minutes left on the clock, as the Briton came across a wayward GTD car. 

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Acura's challenge imploded, most notably when Will Stevens rejoined his Wayne Taylor Racing ARX-05 via the wrong pit exit – using the lane reserved for the penalty box and not the RFID gate – which led to a costly drive-through penalty. 

The Meyer Shank Racing Daytona 24 Hours-winning version of Oliver Jarvis, Tom Blomqvist and Stoffel Vandoorne was delayed when the Belgian was attacked by the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac of Pipo Derani that had led at half-distance

Podium: #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Neel Jani

Podium: #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Neel Jani

Photo by: Chris duMond / Motorsport Images

AXR's #31 car shared by Derani, Tristan Nunez and Conway recovered from that spin, and one earlier by Conway, to complete an all-Cadillac top three ahead of the #10 WTR Acura Stevens shared with Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, and MSR’s #60 car.

The other Action Express Cadillac, the endurance-only #48 Ally Racing entry, suffered a left-front brake disc failure with two hours to go, dropping it to sixth.

In LMP2, the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA of Scott Huffaker, Ben Keating and Mikkel Jensen dominated from start to finish, winning the class by a full lap.

Racing Team Nederland trio Giedo van der Garde, Frits van Eerd and Dylan Murry finished second, ahead of Era Motorsport’s Ryan Dalziel, Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merriman. 

In LMP3, the Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier of Malthe Jakobsen, Joao Barbosa and Lance Willsey held off the Jr III Racing version of Garrett Grist, Dakota Dickerson and Ari Balogh by some 48s.

Reigning class champion team Riley Motorsports’ race was ruined when the car driven by Felipe Fraga, Gar Robinson and Kay van Berlo hit a Porsche GTD car and split its radiator. 

#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg

#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Corvette wins in GTD Pro 

In GTD Pro there was some sensational racing as Chevrolet, BMW, Porsche, Lexus and Lamborghini all fought hard near the head of the class. 

Corvette led the majority of the race, and its single-car attack was anchored by an impressive triple stint from Nicky Catsburg in the heat of the afternoon.

His team-mate Antonio Garcia brought the C8.R home to class victory after some solid stints from Jordan Taylor too. 

The #24 Rahal-run BMW M4 GT3 was its closest challenger until it was forced into an extra pitstop to top-up on oil, which allowed the TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Calderelli and Marco Mapelli to take second, just four seconds behind the Corvette.

Lexus was on course to claim third until late drama struck the Vasser Sullivan RC F GT3 shared by Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Aaron Telitz, which handed the final podium spot to the WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Jules Gounon, Maro Engel and Cooper MacNeil.

That also left the ailing BMW of Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly fourth ahead of the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet.

In the Pro-Am GTD class, Bill Auberlen was denied victory in his 500th start for BMW in Turner Motorsports’ new M4. Having earlier been savaged into a spin by Antonio Fuoco’s Cetilar Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, the Italian proved to be his nemesis by coming back from the penalty to pass the American for the lead in the final hour. 

#47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 488 GT3: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Antonio Fuoco

#47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 488 GT3: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Antonio Fuoco

Photo by: Chris duMond / Motorsport Images

The Cetilar Ferrari, also driven by Roberto Lacorte and Giorgio Sernagiotto, had spun twice earlier – including one off that damaged its door against the tyrewall at Turn 1 – but proved quickest in class by far when it stayed on the road. 

The Auberlen, Robby Foley and Michael Dinan-driven BMW fell to fourth in the closing stages, as Auberlen risked going over his maximum drive time.

That dropped the Turner car behind the Gilbert Korthoff Mercedes of Daniel Juncadella, Stevan McAleer and Mike Skeen and the AF Corse Ferrari of Luis Perez Companc, Toni Vilander and Simon Mann that rounded out the podium. 

Sebring 12 Hours result:

Cla Class Num Driver Chassis Laps Time
1 DPi 02 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Switzerland Neel Jani
Cadillac DPi 351 12:01'46.148
2 DPi 5 France Tristan Vautier
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Loic Duval
Cadillac DPi 351 12:01'52.619
3 DPi 31 Brazil Pipo Derani
United States Tristan Nunez
United Kingdom Mike Conway
Cadillac DPi 351 12:02'00.764
4 DPi 10 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Acura DPi 351 12:02'13.106
5 DPi 60 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
Acura DPi 351 12:02'13.769
6 DPi 48 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Cadillac DPi 346 12:03'29.046
7 LMP2 52 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
United States Scott Huffaker
ORECA LMP2 07 345 12:02'11.676
8 LMP2 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
United States Dylan Murry
ORECA LMP2 07 344 12:01'56.235
9 LMP2 18 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
ORECA LMP2 07 344 12:03'27.909
10 LMP2 11 United States Thomas Steven
United States Josh Pierson
United States Jonathan Bomarito
ORECA LMP2 07 343 12:02'07.664
11 LMP2 22 United States Jim McGuire
United Kingdom Guy Smith
Duncan Tappy
ORECA LMP2 07 342 12:01'55.274
12 LMP2 20 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
ORECA LMP2 07 340 12:02'49.469
13 LMP3 33 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Malthe Jakobsen
United States Lance Willsey
Ligier JS P320 331 12:02'28.758
14 LMP3 30 United States Ari Balogh
Canada Garett Grist
United States Dakota Dickerson
Ligier JS P320 331 12:03'17.344
15 LMP3 38 Daniel Goldburg
Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Australia Cameron Shields
Ligier JS P320 323 12:02'21.719
16 GTD PRO 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Corvette C8.R GTD 323 12:03'10.748
17 GTD PRO 63 Italy Marco Mapelli
Italy Andrea Caldarelli
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 323 12:03'15.186
18 GTD PRO 97 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Jules Gounon
Germany Maro Engel
Mercedes-AMG GT3 322 12:02'03.294
19 GTD PRO 24 Austria Philipp Eng
Germany Marco Wittmann
United Kingdom Nick Yelloly
BMW M4 GT3 322 12:03'01.419
20 GTD PRO 9 Australia Matt Campbell
France Mathieu Jaminet
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Porsche 911 GT3 R 322 12:03'14.579
21 GTD PRO 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Julien Andlauer
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Porsche 911 GT3 R 322 12:03'27.370
22 GTD 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GT3 321 12:02'03.776
23 GTD 32 United States Mike Skeen
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
Spain Daniel Juncadella
Mercedes-AMG GT3 321 12:02'53.124
24 GTD 21 France Simon Mann
Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GT3 321 12:03'03.964
25 GTD 96 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
Michael Dinan
BMW M4 GT3 321 12:03'39.495
26 GTD PRO 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
United States Aaron Telitz
Lexus RC F GT3 320 11:57'54.330
27 GTD PRO 93 Ashton Harrison-Henry
Canada Kyle Marcelli
United States Tom Long
Acura NSX GT3 320 12:02'52.784
28 GTD 70 United States Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
South Africa Jordan Lee Pepper
McLaren 720S GT3 320 12:02'58.896
29 GTD 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 319 12:02'55.477
30 LMP3 13 Canada Orey Fidani
Canada Kuno Wittmer
Germany Lars Kern
Duqueine D08 319 12:03'00.500
31 GTD PRO 62 Brazil Daniel Serra
Italy Davide Rigon
Italy Eddie Cheever III
Ferrari 488 GT3 318 12:02'17.049
32 GTD 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
Australia Scott Andrews
United States Richard Heistand
Lexus RC F GT3 318 12:02'22.583
33 GTD 99 United States Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United Kingdom Stefan Wilson
Porsche 911 GT3 R 318 12:02'53.536
34 LMP3 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
United States George Kurtz
Ligier JS P320 308 12:02'04.503
35 DPi 01 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Sébastien Bourdais
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Cadillac DPi 307 12:02'10.727
36 GTD 28 United States Michael de Quesada
Canada Daniel Morad
Maximillian Goetz
Mercedes-AMG GT3 306 12:02'16.575
37 GTD 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Jan Heylen
Porsche 911 GT3 R 305 12:02'07.805
38 GTD 66 Kyffin Simpson
United States Till Bechtolsheimer
Germany Mario Farnbacher
Acura NSX GT3 305 12:02'08.395
39 GTD 57 United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
Germany Marvin Dienst
Mercedes-AMG GT3 287 12:02'31.324
40 GTD 39 United States Robert Megennis
United States Corey Lewis
United States Jeff Westphal
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 287 12:03'33.051
41 GTD 59 Jon Miller
United States Patrick Gallagher
United States Paul Holton
McLaren 720S GT3 276 11:15'45.247
42 LMP3 40 United States Max Hanratty
Todd Archer
Canada James Vance
Duqueine D08 262 12:01'53.094
43 GTD 27 Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Ian James
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 256 12:02'45.710
44 GTD 1 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
Sweden Erik Johansson
BMW M4 GT3 256 12:03'45.641
45 GTD PRO 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United States John Edwards
Brazil Augusto Farfus
BMW M4 GT3 246 12:02'21.527
46 LMP3 74 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Kay van Berlo
Ligier JS P320 232 9:06'53.343
47 GTD PRO 23 United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Spain Alex Riberas
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 230 11:21'54.594
48 LMP2 8 Canada John Farano
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Portugal Rui Andrade
ORECA LMP2 07 220 10:04'29.211
49 LMP3 7 United States Mark Kvamme
Canada Anthony Mantella
Duqueine D08 204 9:08'03.784
50 LMP3 6 Efrin Castro
Germany Moritz Kranz
Ugo De
Duqueine D08 128 6:23'24.639
51 GTD 42 United States Don Yount
United States Jaden Conwright
Guatemala Mateo Llarena
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 105 3:57'50.669
52 LMP2 81 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
Colombia Sebastian Montoya
ORECA LMP2 07 83 2:41'34.276
53 LMP3 36 United States Jarett Andretti
Josh Burdon
Colombia Gabby Chaves
Ligier JS P320 1 11'18.877

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