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Sebring 12 Hours: Deletraz edges Bourdais to claim victory for Acura

Louis Deletraz delivered a memorable finish and outlasted a physical battle in the final minutes to claim victory in the Sebring 12 Hours for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti.

Race winners #40: Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz, Colton Herta

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Deletraz, driving the #40 Acura ARX-06 alongside Jordan Taylor and Colton Herta, applied the pressure with less than six minutes to go on Cadillac Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais, who had a firm hold of the lead for much of the final hour.

The two tangled with on-track shoves, but it was Deletraz that prevailed with a Turn 10 move around the 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit to win the 72nd edition of IMSA’s endurance classic.

Bourdais settled for second driving the #1 Cadillac, he shared with Renger van de Zande and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. The final spot on the podium was claimed by the #7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 piloted by Matt Campbell, Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron.

ERA Motorsport’s Dwight Merriman, Ryan Dalziel and Connor Zilisch claimed the LMP2 honours. The #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus, driven by Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood won GTD Pro, while Winward Racing’s Russell Ward, Philip Ellis and Indy Dontje took victory in GTD.

The Cadillacs spent the early stages of the race battling, and even came to blows in the second hour.

The polesitting #31 Cadillac machine of Pipo Derani maintained the lead early on, before the #1 of Bourdais grabbed the advantage with just over an hour completed.

The two cars emerged line astern after the first driver changes and, initially, Jack Aitken in the #31 kept Dixon at bay, but it was only temporarily as they speared side-by-side through Turns 5-11 before making slight contact as Dixon managed to put the Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared Cadillac back to the lead.

But the races for the two V-Series.Rs began to unravel around mid-distance.

#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken, Tom Blomqvist

#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken, Tom Blomqvist

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

First, van der Zande struck the class-leading GTD Lexus of Aaron Telitz in the pitlane.

However, a far more dramatic clash was to come for the #31 in the eighth hour, when Derani collided with Miguel Molina in the #21 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3. 

The contact sent Derani off at Turn 10 and full speed into the tyre barriers, which then led to momentum carrying him up and into a single flip before coming to a stop upside down on the barriers. He, fortunately, emerged uninjured.

The big beneficiary from the resulting caution period was the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8 of Maxime Martin, which vaulted into the lead from the #6 Porsche 963. 

Martin led the field to the restart, which commenced just five minutes at the conclusion of the eighth hour. Despite the tight push into Turn 1, he was able to hold off Matheiu Jaminet (Porsche Penske Motorsports) and Ricky Taylor (Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti).

It didn’t take long – 20 minutes, to be exact – for Taylor’s #10 Acura ARX-06 to work around the #6 Porsche 963 of Jaminet.

Taylor then began to close on the lead and got within 0.4s of Martin, who began cutting through traffic and ended up making contact with Matteo Cressoni in Iron Lynx’s No. 60 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 in Turn 15. Cressoni was able to continue on, while Martin saw his lead shrink even more.

As Taylor continued to gain ground, traces of smoke could be seen occasionally trailing his Acura. Regardless of that, though, Taylor’s pace continued, and he caught Martin out in traffic and put on a move to take the lead with 23 minutes remaining in the ninth hour.

#6 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet, Fred Makowiecki

#6 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet, Fred Makowiecki

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

The action was halted for a ninth time after the #6 Penske Porsche 963 of Fred Makowiecki, running fourth in GTP and overall, dove under Katherine Legge’s #66 Acura NSX GT3 entering Turn 17. The two made contact, which sent Legge into a wild spin briefly before making hard contact into the tyre barrier. Makowiecki was able to continue on, while Legge climbed out under her own power.

The caution happened right at the conclusion of the ninth hour. By opting not to pit, Makowiecki inherited the lead, with Gianmaria Bruni running second in the #5 Porsche 963 for Proton Competition. Campbell, piloting the Porsche Penske Motorsport #7 GTP machine, rose to third.

Van der Zande sat fourth, ahead of Yelloly. Hartley ended up falling to ninth, behind Romain Grosjean, who was listed a lap down in Iron Lynx’s Lamborghini SC63.

The race resumed 13 minutes after the conclusion of the ninth hour, with Makowiecki getting a clean start and accelerating away from Campbell, who managed to climb to second.

Moments later, Makowiecki lost the lead after his right rear tyre exploded which forced him to nurse the car back to the pits. This propelled his team-mate, Campbell, to the lead and the Cadillac of van der Zande to third.

With 20 minutes left in Hour 10, Campbell continued to hold a lead of four tenths of a second over van der Zande. Yelloly held third at 1s back, while Herta, driving the #40 Acura ARX-06 for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti, in fourth 2.5s behind.

Only five minutes later Herta managed to close on the back of Yelloly to challenge for third, which he cycled up to second after Campbell elected to dive to the pits. Although van der Zande was handed the lead with Campbell pitting, it would only be momentarily as he pitted the next lap and gave the lead to Yelloly. The stop for van der Zande saw him hand off to Sebastien Bourdais.

#40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06: Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz, Colton Herta

#40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06: Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz, Colton Herta

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

During this stretch, Herta was able to manage the traffic and push to the lead by Yelloly and pull a two second gap with only eight minutes remaining in the hour.

With two hours to go, Herta stretched his lead to over six seconds on Yelloly, who was only three seconds ahead of BMW team-mate Augusto Farfus in third.

Herta gave up his stranglehold on the lead dove to the pits just five minutes into Hour 11, swapping places with co-driver Jordan Taylor. With Yelloly pitting two laps prior – and making way for Connor De Phillippi to take over, Bruni took the lead briefly before eventually giving way to Bourdais.

Bourdais pitted from the lead moments before the caution, which elevated Jordan Taylor up the leaderboard. A cycle of pit stops meant Deletraz swapped with Jordan Taylor for the final run to the finish. De Phillippi and Philipp Eng, in the #24 BMW, followed Deletraz off pit lane.

This exchange allowed Bourdais to claim the lead, with Felipe Nasr behind in the #7 Penske Porsche 963, followed by Deletraz, De Phillippi and Eng.

The green flag returned with 58 minutes left in the running as Bourdais led the field into Turn 1. The 45-year-old Frenchman got a strong launch, pulling three seconds on Nasr and 3.5s on Deletraz over the following two laps.

#01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon

#01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

After two caution periods, the race restarted with 23 minutes to go as Bourdais took the green, but it was Deletraz under attack by Nasr. Despite the effort, Nasr failed to pass and the fight allowed a chance to Bourdais to stretch a lead of nearly two seconds.

Bourdais soon came under heavy attack approaching traffic from Deletraz as they went side-by-side through traffic and into Turn 10 with eight minutes to go. Deletraz and Bourdais came together and continued to make contact over the next several turns, before Deletraz pulled off a double move and completed the pass in Turn 10 with less than five minutes to go.

Bourdais attempted to fight back but the chance was stalled as he came up on traffic in the form of Hawkworth, which allowed Deletraz to pull a gap of 0.7s.  As Deletraz continued to push through traffic, it was now Bourdais clawing back in the fight to pull within 0.5s on the penultimate lap.

Deletraz held his nerve to take the chequered flag from Bourdais as Nasr took the final step on the podium, ahead of De Phillippi in fourth.

CLA DRIVERS # CHASSIS LAPS TIME INTERVAL PITS POINTS
1 J. TaylorL. DeletrazC. HertaWAYNE TAYLOR RACING WITH ANDRETTI 40 Acura ARX-06 333

-

  13  
2 R. van der ZandeS. BourdaisS. DixonCADILLAC RACING 01 Cadillac V-Series.R 333

+0.891

0.891

0.891 14  
3 D. CameronF. NasrM. CampbellPORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT 7 Porsche 963 333

+8.898

8.898

8.007 15  
4 C. de PhillippiN. YellolyM. MartinBMW M TEAM RLL 25 BMW M Hybrid V8 333

+12.056

12.056

3.158 13  
5 R. TaylorJ. BarbosaB. HartleyWAYNE TAYLOR RACING WITH ANDRETTI 10 Acura ARX-06 333

+13.398

13.398

1.342 14  
6 J. KrohnP. EngA. FarfusBMW M TEAM RLL 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 333

+28.438

28.438

15.040 16  
7 M. CairoliA. CaldarelliR. GrosjeanLAMBORGHINI IRON LYNX 63 Lamborghini SC63 333

+28.501

28.501

0.063 14  
8 G. BruniA. PicarielloJ. AndlauerPROTON COMPETITION 5 Porsche 963 333

+44.807

44.807

16.306 15  
9 N. TandyM. JaminetF. MakowieckiPORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT 6 Porsche 963 331

2 laps

  17  
10 D. MerrimanR. Dalziel
C. ZilischERA MOTORSPORT
18 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  21  
11 S. ThomasM. Jensen
H. McElreaTDS RACING
11 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  18  
12 D. GoldburgP. di Resta
B. GargUNITED AUTOSPORTS USA
22 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  16  
13 L. WillseyJ. BarbosaJ. EdgarSEAN CREECH MOTORSPORT 33 Ligier JS P217 330

3 laps

  18  
14 G. RobinsonF. FragaJ. BurdonRILEY 74 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  20  
15 J. SmiechowskiN. BoulleT. DillmannINTER EUROPOL BY PR1 MATHIASEN MOTORSPORTS 52 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  19  
16 M. JakobsenH. HedmanR. LindhDRAGONSPEED 81 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  17  
17 D. Andersen
S. Lucas
L. HörrMDK BY HIGH CLASS RACING
20 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  24  
18 G. KurtzC. BraunT. SoweryCROWDSTRIKE RACING BY APR 04 ORECA 07 330

3 laps

  17  
19 B. KeatingN. PinoB. HanleyUNITED AUTOSPORTS USA 2 ORECA 07 329

4 laps

  20  
20 J. HawksworthB. BarnicoatK. KirkwoodVASSER SULLIVAN 14 Lexus RC F GT3 316

17 laps

  12  
21 D. SerraD. RigonJ. CaladoRISI COMPETIZIONE 62 Ferrari 296 GT3 316

17 laps

  12  
22
F. Perera
J. PepperM. BortolottiIRON LYNX
19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 316

17 laps

  11  
23 B. SellersM. SnowN. VerhagenPAUL MILLER RACING 1 BMW M4 GT3 316

17 laps

  11  
24 R. GunnA. RiberasM. FarnbacherHEART OF RACING TEAM 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo 316

17 laps

  14  
25 C. SchiavoniM. CressoniL. PulciniIRON LYNX 60 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 316

17 laps

  15  
26 H. TincknellM. RockenfellerC. MiesFORD MULTIMATIC MOTORSPORTS 64 Ford Mustang GT3 316

17 laps

  12  
27 J. HandD. MullerF. VervischFORD MULTIMATIC MOTORSPORTS 65 Ford Mustang GT3 316

17 laps

  16  
28 L. Heinrich
S. Priaulx
M. ChristensenAO RACING
77 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 316

17 laps

  12  
29 R. WardP. EllisI. DontjeWINWARD RACING 57 Mercedes AMG GT3 314

19 laps

  12  
30 R. LacorteG. SernagiottoA. FuocoCETILAR RACING 47 Ferrari 296 GT3 314

19 laps

  15  
31
A. Adelson
E. SkeerJ. HeylenWRIGHT MOTORSPORTS
120 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 314

19 laps

  18  
32 R. De AngelisZ. RobichonI. JamesHEART OF RACING TEAM 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo 314

19 laps

  15  
33 M. GoikhbergL. SpinelliD. DeFrancescoFORTE RACING 78 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 314

19 laps

  11  
34 R. FoleyP. Gallagher
J. WalkerTURNER MOTORSPORT
96 BMW M4 GT3 314

19 laps

  12  
35 B. IribeF. SchandorffO. MillroyINCEPTION RACING 70 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO 314

19 laps

  14  
36 J. AndrettiG. ChavesS. HargroveANDRETTI MOTORSPORTS 43 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 314

19 laps

  16  
37 O. FidaniM. BellL. KernAWA 13 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD 314

19 laps

  15  
38 J. PotterA. LallyS. PumpellyMAGNUS RACING 44 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo 314

19 laps

  12  
39
M. Franco
A. CostaC. SbirrazzuoliCONQUEST RACING
34 Ferrari 296 GT3 314

19 laps

  15  
40
K. Li
A. FjordbachK. BachlerMDK MOTORSPORTS
86 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 314

19 laps

  16  
41 F. MontecalvoP. ThompsonA. TelitzVASSER SULLIVAN 12 Lexus RC F GT3 314

19 laps

  13  
42 A. GarciaA. SimsD. JuncadellaCORVETTE RACING BY PRATT MILLER MOTORSPORTS 3 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 313

20 laps

  14  
43 O. Triarsi
C. Scardina
A. RoveraTRIARSI COMPETIZIONE
023 Ferrari 296 GT3 313

20 laps

  15  
44 P. HyettP. ChatinM. BrabhamAO RACING 99 ORECA 07 313

20 laps

  19  
45 T. MilnerN. CatsburgE. BamberCORVETTE RACING BY PRATT MILLER MOTORSPORTS 4 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 307

26 laps

  15  
46 M. KirchhoferO. JarvisJ. HinchcliffePFAFF MOTORSPORTS 9 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO 293

40 laps

  21  
47 K. MarcelliD. Formal
G. DoyleWAYNE TAYLOR RACING WITH ANDRETTI
45 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 292

41 laps

  14  
48 R. Hardwick
G. Levorato
C. LewisPROTON COMPETITION
55 Ford Mustang GT3 291

42 laps

  18  
49 J. FaranoM. DinanC. EastwoodTOWER MOTORSPORTS 8 ORECA 07 247

86 laps

  15  
50
S. Monk
K. LeggeT. CalderonGRADIENT RACING
66 Acura NSX GT3 233

100 laps

  11  
51 S. YolucR. AndradeS. AndrewsLONE STAR RACING 80 Mercedes AMG GT3 218

115 laps

  14  
52 P. DeraniJ. AitkenT. BlomqvistWHELEN CADILLAC RACING 31 Cadillac V-Series.R 210

123 laps

  10  
53 S. MannF. HeriauM. MolinaAF CORSE 21 Ferrari 296 GT3 197

136 laps

  10  
54 T. van der HelmR. WestbrookP. HansonJDC/MILLER MOTORSPORTS 85 Porsche 963 178

155 laps

  7  
55 R. FreyM. GattingS. BovyIRON DAMES 83 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 128

205 laps

  11  
56 L. Perez CompancN. NielsenL. WadouxRICHARD MILLE AF CORSE 88 ORECA 07 65

268 laps

  6  
57 M. SkeenM. GrenierK. KochKORTHOFF/PRESTON MOTORSPORTS 32 Mercedes AMG GT3 16

317 laps

     
58 A. Mantella
N. Varrone
T. MerrillAWA
17 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD 2

331 laps

 

 

3

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