IMSA: Leaders take each other out, #31 Cadillac wins 12 Hours of Sebring
–by Mark Cipolloni–
It was coming down to the win between the two #6 and #7 Penske Porsches and the #10 Wayne Taylor Acura with 18 minutes to go in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
And then it wasn’t.
As the three leaders – the #6 Mathieu Jaminet, the #10 of Felipe Albuquerque and the #7 of Felipe Nasr – were weaving their way through slower GTD traffic, Albuquerque tried to go around the #6 Porsche of Jaminet on the left, Jaminet did not see him and moved left, pushing the Acura off into the grass.
An out of control Albuquerque slid through the grass and back onto the track taking out both Penske Porsches and himself in one fell swoop.
That left the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac with Jack Aitken at the wheel in the lead ahead of the #25 BMW of Nick Yelloly with the short sprint for the win.
The green flag flew with 4 minutes to go and the battle for the win was back on with different players. Aitken got the jump on the BMW and pulled away to win in the #31 Cadillac he shared with Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims.
Due to high attrition amongst the GTP field, the No. 6 was still able to finish on the podium, earning Porsche Penske Motorsport their first top-3 of the season.
Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director, Porsche Penske Motorsport: “Obviously it was a long day for the team. I think we fought back a lot of adversity and we had some operational things we need to clean up. But the team came back from two laps down and both cars were fighting for the podium there at the end. I think we saw good hard racing with Mathieu there, ultimately ended up in a crash that none of us wanted. But it was good to see the team see the fruits of our labor and see the performance be there and be fighting for the Sebring 12 Hours win.“
“I would like to apologize to the entire Porsche motorsport family and the Porsche Penske Motorsport team for the accident,” said a dejected Jaminet.
“In the close finale on the pitch-black Sebring track, sadly such incidents can happen sometimes. I wanted to go all-out and take advantage of a small gap – unfortunately, that resulted in a big accident.
“My teammate Felipe had nothing to do with it, but he was also thrown out of the race, too. It was just a huge stroke of bad luck. And so, a great race had a terrible end. Still, I’d like to focus on the positives: The team did a fantastic job, the car was very strong in the race.”
The No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R driven by Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande combined to lead 120 laps. Unfortunately, after emerging as a front-runner in the race, the team was forced to retire on lap 241 because of a fuel distribution system issue.
In LMP2 Scott McLaughlin drove the #8 Tower Motorsports car home to a close win over the 311 and #18.
Felipe Fraga crossed the line with a comfortable 1-lap lead to win in LMP3 in the #74 Riley.
The race in the GTD-Pro category was no less exciting than the battle for overall victory at Sebring. Right up to the last safety car phase, the lead changed every half hour.
With a flawless team effort, a perfect strategy and strong performances by the drivers, Pfaff Motorsports achieved their first victory with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The team’s two seasoned drivers Klaus Bachler from Austria and Patrick Pilet from France were supported in the 12-hour race by Belgian works driver Laurens Vanthoor, who had been behind the wheel of the Porsche 963 in the FIA WEC the day prior.
The defending champions from Canada secured a class victory after twelve hours with a 2.7-second lead over Jack Hawksworth’s Vasser Sullivan Lexus.
Madison Snow drove the #1 Paul Miller BMW home first in GTD ahead of the #96 Turner Motorsports BMW.
Porsche driver Frenchman Julien Andlauer claimed third place in a thrilling finale and celebrated alongside his American teammates David Brule and Alec Udell.
|322||0.000||0.000||61||1||Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac|
S.van der Linde
|322||2.940||2.940||3||8||BMW M Team RLL|
|318||4LAPS||3.427||0||9||PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports|
|318||4LAPS||8.742||0||12||Crowdstrike Racing by APR|
|317||5LAPS||1:47.973||0||13||High Class Racing|
|315||> 315 <||3LAPS||7||4||Porsche Penske Motorsports|
|315||0.573||0.573||115||3||Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06|
|315||1.050||0.477||3||7||Porsche Penske Motorsports|
T.van der Helm
|308||14LAPS||1.440||0||18||JDC Miller MotorSports|
|301||21LAPS||37.800||11||5||Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian|
|301||21LAPS||50.806||0||34||Paul Miller Racing|
|27||3||GTD||92||David Brule Sr.
|301||21LAPS||0.298||0||48||Kellymoss with Riley|
Kay van Berlo
|301||21LAPS||0.460||0||43||Kellymoss with Riley|
|301||21LAPS||0.781||0||51||Team Korthoff Motorsports|
|297||25LAPS||2:00.953||0||29||Heart of Racing Team|
|293||29LAPS||1:45.881||0||22||Performance Tech Motorsports|
|289||> 289 <||2LAPS||0||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|42||15||GTD||27||Roman De Angelis
|287||> 287 <||1LAP||0||42||Heart of Racing Team|
|283||39LAPS||1LAP||0||24||Sean Creech Motorsport|
|282||In Pit||1LAP||0||20||Jr III Racing|
|279||> 279 <||2LAPS||0||36||Forte Racing Powered by USRT|
R.van der Zande
|241||> 241 <||37LAPS||120||2||Cadillac Racing|
Glenn van Berlo
|230||In Pit||11LAPS||0||17||Andretti Autosport|
|198||> 198 <||31LAPS||0||53||Winward Racing|
|186||> 186 <||11LAPS||0||28||Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR|
|172||> 172 <||13LAPS||2||6||BMW M Team RLL|
G.van der Garde
|132||> 132 <||39LAPS||0||10||TDS Racing|
|95||> 95 <||36LAPS||0||33||Triarsi Competizione|