Cadillac Racing #01 Leads After 4 Hours As Cross-Class Crash Sets Action Express Back
After a pass of the baton from Sebastien Bourdais to Scott Dixon, the gold and dark grey #01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R continues to lead after four hours of the 71st annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
But it is no longer a Cadillac 1-2 at the front of the overall running order, after polesitter Pipo Derani crashed into a spinning LMP3 car at the end of the race’s second hour.
The #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac pitted from the lead at the end of the first hour. They were one of three cars that didn’t change tyres on its first routine stop, opting for a double stint. Derani restarted in second place after a Full Course Yellow but began to fall rapidly down the order as he was passed by Tom Blomqvist in the #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura, Ricky Taylor in the #10 Konica Minolta Acura, and then the two BMW M Hybrid V8s of Augusto Farfus and Connor de Philippi.
Just as he was ready to bring the car in for a needed pit stop, Derani approached Tower Turn (turn 13) when the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier of Robert Mau spun in front of him. The three-time Sebring winner could not avoid the spinning LMP3 and made contact, damaging the left-front quarter of the car and leaving him stranded in the grass and dirt! A Full Course Yellow was declared. Derani’s car began to shed damaged bodywork for several laps before the pit lane opened, and the Action Express Racing team serviced the damaged Cadillac and replaced the damaged front body panels and broken wing mirror.
The race restarted with just under two hours and 30 minutes completed, following a round of pit stops and driver changes for the leading GTPs. Ricky Taylor in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06 restarted up front after taking fuel only on his pit stop, but Dixon dove up the inside of Sunset Bend (turn 17) and fired his way to the overall lead.
That’s where Dixon has remained since, managing an ever-growing lead to the cars behind him in a trouble-free stint.
Taylor got passed by three GTP cars in the space of a little more than a corner at one point, but he was able to hold on and hand the #10 Acura off to Louis Delétraz. The Swiss second-generation driver is now back up to second overall on fresher tyres.
Felipe Nasr has settled into third place aboard the #7 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963, but the sister car, the #6 Porsche, began to have issues after three hours of racing.
First, the #6 picked up a left rear puncture, after Nick Tandy made contact with a GTD backmarker. And then, the car began to slow rapidly out of turn five. Tandy limped back to the pits with a mechanical issue, but strangely, he returned with his door open. Tandy reportedly began to smell smoke in the cockpit but the car was sent back out after a quick check and tightening a few wires inside.
Helio Castroneves in the #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura runs fifth, and at the end of the lead lap, is Alexander Sims in the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing.
Both BMWs were legitimately in the fight for the podium. That has since changed after Philipp Eng clipped too much of the inner kerb at turn three and spun in front of Nasr behind him. Marco Wittmann is now in the #24 in seventh, behind the #25 of Nick Yelloly in sixth. Tandy came to the end of his stint in the #6 Porsche in eighth, ready to be relieved by Dane Cameron.
The running order in GTD Pro and GTD has been altered after the race’s second Full Course Yellow, which happened just as the GTD cars were ready to make their first routine stops.
As in the first hour, the #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD is still leading GTD Pro and GTD outright. But he’s now had to fend off an unexpected challenger.
The #79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 had to start from the rear for failing its post-qualifying inspection, but has now moved into a fight for the lead. Maro Engel in the white Mercedes passed Jordan Taylor in the gold Corvette with three hours and 33 minutes left, only for Taylor to take advantage of dicey traffic, and line up a run back past Engel into Sunset Bend to retake the lead going into this fourth hour!
As Corvette Racing and WeatherTech Racing battle for the GTD Pro lead, the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R is running third on merit after its qualifying accident yesterday. Sadly, the #23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has had mechanical issues and is a full 10 laps off the class lead.
Within the GTD ‘Standard’ class, another car that had its issues in qualifying – the #32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes – is now leading the class and is third of all GTDs. Mike Skeen has just taken over after stints from Mikael Grenier and Kenton Koch.
Quietly, the #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 has made a play for the GTD podium and Corey Lewis now runs second.
And another Porsche – the #16 Wright Motorsports Porsche to be specific – is now running third with Zach Robichon aboard.
The #023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 has spent significant time behind the pit wall with an alternator issue that has since been resolved. And sadly, the #80 AO Racing Porsche “Rexy” has had to go in for significant repairs after a cross-class collision of its own.
In LMP2, the #11 TDS Racing Oreca LMP2 07 now leads. Pro driver Mikkel Jensen is driving after Steven Thomas got off after two hours and 50 minutes of driving.
Ben Keating has cleared his mandatory three hours of driving and he’s ready to watch the rest of today’s race. Alex Quinn has now gotten aboard the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca in second, which is still best positioned to win its class.
After George Kurtz’s spin earlier in the race, Nolan Siegel was been entrusted to take the #04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR Oreca back up the running order. Siegel’s driving has put the #04 Oreca back up into third as Kurtz begins his second stint.
Despite a collision with the aforementioned #80 AO Racing Porsche, the #36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 remains the class of the field in LMP3. Third-generation driver Jarret Andretti has a lead of over 30 seconds in class.
The #30 Jr III Motorsports Ligier is second – Ari Balogh has done his three hours, and now Garret Grist is at the wheel, in pursuit of the lead.
AWA has had a day of mixed fortunes: The gold and black #13 Duquiene D08 is out in third after recovering from a drive-through penalty for not adhering to the minimum refuelling time. Orey Fidani has relieved Matt Bell. But the green and black #17, which won the Daytona 24 Hours, is four laps down after running out of fuel during a Full Course Yellow.
The #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier has also had mechanical troubles and is now 22 laps down.The post Cadillac Racing #01 Leads After 4 Hours As Cross-Class Crash Sets Action Express Back first appeared on dailysportscar.com.