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USCC: 12 Hours of Sebring – Ganassi wins, Porsche tops GTs

Photo: IMSA.com

 

Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winners #5 Action Express (Corvette DP) took the pole for the 12 Hours of Sebring with Sebastien Bourdais behind the wheel. Alex Brundle qualified the OAK Racing Oreca-Nissan second. Michael Christensen topped GT LeMans (GTLM) qualifying in a Porsche North America 911 RSR. Dane Cameron won the GT Daytona (GTD) pole in a Turner Motorsport BMW Z4, but had to start from the pits following a timing violation. Bruno Junquiera led the Prototype Challenge (PC) class off the green flag.

 

Action Express maintained the lead at the start, piloted by Joao Barbosa, with Jordan Taylor driving the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP into second, and OAK settling into third. The Daytona-winning #912 Porsche held the lead in GTLM with Patrick Long behind the wheel, followed by Oliver Gavin in the #4 Corvette.

 

The GTD pole-winner BMW served a pit-lane penalty less than 6 min into the race. James Davison led GTD in the #007 Aston Martin followed by Leh Keen in the #22 Alex Job Racing WeatherTech Porsche 911. A full-course caution came out at 11:41when one of the PC cars got stranded on a curb.

 

The caution was extended for nearly 1 hr following a fire on track in the #33 GTD Viper piloted by Ben Keating. Andy Meyrick drove the #0 DeltaWing in the lead when the green flag waved again. It held the lead for about 3 min before being passed by first Barobosa and then Lucas Luhr in the #6 Muscle Milk entry.

 

At 10:07 Muscle Milk came in with Klaus Graf replacing Luhr. #5 Action Express and Wayne Taylor Racing pitted at the same time a few minutes later, with WTR taking the position as Ricky Taylor remained behind the wheel. Graf and Muscle Milk led the way after the round of stops.

 

Muscle Milk had slipped to P7 at 8:20 following a stall on pit lane and subsequent speed violation. The #5 Action Express car led Wayne Taylor Racing and the #02 Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford.  The #4 Corvette led the #912 Porsche in GTLM. The #13 Rum Bum Porsche 911 occupied the GTD point ahead of the #555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458. The #25 led PC.

 

Sage Karam led the way for Ganassi in the #02 with 8 hours to go. Bourdais ran second ahead of the #1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b in third. The #52 led PC. The Top 3 in GTLM and GTD respectively were: #91 SRT Motorsports Viper, #4 Corvette, #912 Porsche; #94 Turner BMW, #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458, and #44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911. The Top 3 drivers in each class earn points toward the North American Endurance Cup at the 4, 8, and 12 hr-marks of the race.

 

 A full-course caution came out 6 min later following a collision between two PC machines, including the #52.

 

The #1 led 6 hrs in.

 

Simon Pagenaud was behind the wheel of the #2 in the lead with 4:36 to go. James Gue led PC in the #54, Gavin GTLM in the #4 Corvette, and Jeff Segal GTD in the #555.

 

When Ryan Dalziel pitted the #1 with 40 minutes to go, Marino Franchitti assumed the lead in the #01Chip Ganassi Racing Ford-Riley. The race’s final caution cleared with 20 min left and Franchitti held of Dalziel to win by 4.682 sec. The #5 Action Express entry finished third. The #912 Porsche won GTLM with Jorg Bergmeister behind the wheel, beating the #93 SRT Motorsports Viper piloted by Jonathan Bomarito by 5.296 sec. Porsche won GTD as well, the #44 Magnus 911driven by Andy Lally beating the #555 Ferrari. The #54 maintained its lead in PC and took the victory.

Posted in: Sports
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