WEC: Alpine Wins shortened 1000 Miles of Sebring

The Tricolore of France was carried to victory by Alpine after Alexander Nargão, Nicola Lapierre and Mattieu Vaxiviere won` a dramatic opening race for the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship.

The 1000 Miles of Sebring was called to a premature halt after 194 laps of the 6.019km (3.74-mile) circuit with 70 minutes remaining due to the hazard posed by an oncoming thunderstorm of epic proportions.

The red flags had already flown to halt the race at the three-and-a-half hour mark after the number 7 Toyota GR010-Hybrid of defending champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María Lopez crashed heavily after making contact with the number 77 Porsche of Dempsey-Proton Racing. The Toyota, piloted by Lopez, speared off the track at Turn 14 on the historic Florida raceway, requiring a 30-minute break in order to repair the barriers.

“I had a contact with a GT car and damaged my front end,” Lopez explained. “I tried to recover as quickly as I could but I misjudged the damage I actually had on the car.

“As I was approaching Turn 14, the front bodywork fell down due to the damage and I wasn’t able to steer or slow down properly, so I went straight into the barriers. It was a big one but the car is very safe so I am thankful for that.”

With their nearest rivals thus eliminated, the Alpine team gained additional time over the number 8 Toyota when it was forced to make two pit stops in rapid succession as the field returned to action. The third surviving Hypercar entry of the Glickenhaus team was delayed by a penalty after overtaking before the restart but held on to claim third place at its home event.


The Hypercars were challenged throughout the race by the light and nimble LMP2 prototypes, among which the winner in fourth place overall was the number 23 car of United Autosports USA driven by Paul di Resta, Oliver Jarvis and Joshua Pierson. The 16-year-old Pierson became both the youngest ever driver to start a WEC race and the series’ youngest winner.

#22: United Autosports, ORECA LMP2 07, LMP2: James McGuire, Guy Smith, Duncan Tappy

Second place fell to the WRT team of Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael and Rene Rast after a late charge to eclipse the sibling Realteam by WRT squad of Ferdinand Habsburg, Norman Nato and Rui Andrade.

The No.83 AF Corse crew of Francois Perrodo, Alessio Rovera and Nicklas Nielsen capped a successful first LMP2 race with victory in the Pro/Am division.The trio followed up a surprise pole with a strong race to claim maximum points for teams that include bronze categorized drivers.


In the manufacturer’s contest for LMGTE honors, Porsche’s number 92 of Kevin Estre and Michael Christansen bested its new season-long rival Corvette, whose C8.R is driven by Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner, after the two marques put on a thrilling battle. The second works Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz finished in third place, with the two Ferraris struggling to stay with the battle for the podium and finishing in fourth and fifth.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (#92), Kevin Estre (F), Michael Christensen (DK)

“We scored important points towards the championship. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough for a one-two result today – which would have been possible,” commented Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “During a pit stop, we couldn’t get a wheel off the No. 91 car for a moment. We need to take another close look at that. This incident prevented us from finishing first and second. Still, it was a great start to the season. I have nothing but praise for the drivers and the team. We can be happy with this result. Of course, it would’ve been nicer to achieve this success over the full eight-hour distance.”

Porsche GT Team, Kevin Estre (F), Michael Christensen (DK) (l-r)

“That was a long and crazy race. And we won – the season couldn’t have started better,” said Alexander Stehlig, Director Factory Motorsport FIA WEC. “We had a great run over the entire time in Sebring and we managed to work our way through each session steadily and systematically. The Corvette proved to be a strong rival. At times we held the advantage, sometimes they did – it was fun. We kept our cool during the interruptions and ultimately took home a well-deserved victory. We’re happy to harvest the points and we’re looking forward to the next WEC race at Spa-Francorchamps.”

Aston Martin celebrated a 1-2 finish in the LMGTE Am category with the Northwest AMR entry of David Pittard, Nicki Thiim and Paul Dalla Lana just shading the similar car of TF Sport driven by Ben Keating, Marco Sorensen and Florian Latorre. Third place fell to the Porsche of Team Project 1 drivers Ben Barnicoat, Oli Millroy and Brendon Iribe.

The 36-strong WEC field will regroup in Belgium for the second round of the championship, the TotalEneregies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, on May 5-7.

Race Results

Pos Class No./Team Drivers Car Laps
1 HYPERCAR 36 Alpine ELF Team A. Negrão / N. Lapierre / M. Vaxiviere Alpine A480 – Gibson 194
2 HYPERCAR H 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing S. Buemi / B. Hartley / R. Hirakawa Toyota GR010 HYBRID 194
3 HYPERCAR 708 Glickenhaus Racing O. Pla / R. Dumas / R. Briscoe Glickenhaus 007 LMH 193
4 LMP2 23 United Autosports USA P. Di Resta / O. Jarvis / J. Pierson Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
5 LMP2 31 WRT S. Gelael / R. Frijns / R. Rast Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
6 LMP2 41 Realteam by WRT R. Andrade / F. Habsburg / N. Nato Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
7 LMP2 9 Prema Orlen Team R. Kubica / L. Deletraz / L. Colombo Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
8 LMP2 28 JOTA O. Rasmussen / E. Jones / J. Aberdein Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
9 LMP2 38 JOTA R. Gonzalez / A. Da Costa / W. Stevens Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
10 LMP2 22 United Autosports USA P. Hanson / F. Albuquerque / W. Owen Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
11 LMP2 5 Team Penske D. Cameron / E. Collard / F. Nasr Oreca 07 – Gibson 192
12 LMP2 P/A 83 AF Corse F. Perrodo / N. Nielsen / A. Rovera Oreca 07 – Gibson 191
13 LMP2 P/A 35 Ultimate J. Lahaye / M. Lahaye / F. Heriau Oreca 07 – Gibson 190
14 LMP2 P/A 45 Algarve Pro Racing S. Thomas / J. Allen / R. Binder Oreca 07 – Gibson 190
15 LMP2 1 Richard Mille Racing Team L. Wadoux / S. Ogier / C. Milesi Oreca 07 – Gibson 189
16 LMP2 P/A 44 ARC Bratislava M. Konopka / M. Beche / T. Van Der Helm Oreca 07 – Gibson 188
17 LMGTE Pro 92 Porsche GT Team M. Christensen / K. Estre Porsche 911 RSR – 19 183
18 LMGTE Pro 64 Corvette Racing T. Milner / N. Tandy Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 183
19 LMGTE Pro 91 Porsche GT Team G. Bruni / R. Lietz Porsche 911 RSR – 19 183
20 LMGTE Pro 51 AF Corse A. Pier Guidi / J. Calado Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 183
21 LMGTE Am 98 Northwest AMR P. Dalla Lana / D. Pittard / N. Thiim Aston Martin Vantage AMR 180
22 LMGTE Pro 52 AF Corse M. Molina / A. Fuoco Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 180
23 LMGTE Am 33 TF Sport B. Keating / F. Latorre / M. Sørensen Aston Martin Vantage AMR 180
24 LMGTE Am 56 Team Project 1 B. Iribe / O. Millroy / B. Barnicoat Porsche 911 RSR – 19 180
25 LMGTE Am 77 Dempsey – Proton Racing C. Ried / S. Priaulx / H. Tincknell Porsche 911 RSR – 19 180
26 LMGTE Am 85 Iron Dames R. Frey / M. Gatting / S. Bovy Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 179
27 LMGTE Am 777 D’Station Racing S. Hoshino / T. Fujii / C. Fagg Aston Martin Vantage AMR 179
28 LMGTE Am 21 AF Corse S. Mann / C. Ulrich / T. Vilander Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 178
29 LMGTE Am 60 Iron Lynx C. Schiavoni / M. Cressoni / G. Fisichella Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 178
30 LMGTE Am 54 AF Corse T. Flohr / F. Castellacci / N. Cassidy Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 178
31 LMP2 34 Inter Europol Competition J. Smiechowski / F. Scherer / E. Gutierrez Oreca 07 – Gibson 174
32 LMGTE Am 88 Dempsey – Proton Racing F. Poordad / P. Lindsey / J. Andlauer Porsche 911 RSR – 19 169
33 LMP2 10 Vector Sport N. Müller / R. Cullen / M. Rockenfeller Oreca 07 – Gibson 157
DNF LMGTE Am 71 Spirit of Race F. Dezoteux / P. Ragues / G. Aubry Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 122
DNF LMGTE Am 46 Team Project 1 M. Cairoli / M. Pedersen / N. Leutwiler Porsche 911 RSR – 19 86
DNF HYPERCAR H 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing M. Conway / K. Kobayashi / J. Lopez Toyota GR010 HYBRID 110