Weekend round-up: Sebring 12h, Mugello 12h, Australian GT

There were two twelve-hour races last weekend, as well as some GT action in Australia. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship went to Sebring for the 12 Hours of Sebring, while Mugello hosted the 12 Hours of Italy.

IMSA United SportsCar Championship – 12 Hours of Sebring

After twelve hours of racing at Sebring International Raceway, the #2 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier of Pipo Derani, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, and Scott Sharp took the checkered flag to win the 12 Hours of Sebring. With less than six minutes to go, Derani passed Dane Cameron in the #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP to claim the first position. The #5 Action Express Corvette of Christian Fittipaldi, Felipe Albuquerque and João Barbosa finished right behind its sister car in third. It was the first time since 1998 that the same team won both the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #2 ESM Ligier JSP2 – Honda (S. Sharp/E. Brown/J. van Overbeek/L. F. Derani)
2 #31 Action Express Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP (D. Cameron/E. Curran/S. Pruett)
3 #5 Action Express Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP (C. Fittipaldi/F. Albuquerque/J. Barbosa)

24h Series – 12 Hours of Mugello

A very dominant performance by Max Braams, Luc Braams, Nicky Pastorelli, and Miguel Ramos gave V8 Racing the win at the 12 Hours of Italy at Mugello. The gap to the second-placed #10 Hofor-Racing Mercedes consisted of four laps. Robert Kubica’s return to circuit racing wasn’t a big success. Despite qualifying in third place, the suspension oft the #777 MP Racing Mercedes broke just fifteen minutes into the race. In the end, Kubica and his co-drivers finished in 44th position.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #333 V8 Racing Renault RS01 FGT3 (M. Braams/L. Braams/N. Pastorelli/M. Ramos)
2 #10 Hofor-Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (M. Kroll/C. Kroll/K. Heyer/R. Eggimann/C. Frankenhout)
3 #963 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (R. Ineichen/M. Ineichen/A. Amstutz/C. Engelhart)

Australian GT – Albert Park

Race 1

The second round of the Australian GT Championship consisted of no less than four races. A unique format was introduced at Albert Park, with post-race pit stop times being applied to the racing times. That new format cost Christopher Mies the victory in the first race of the weekend. His #1 JAMEC PAM Audi crossed the line in first position, but a quicker pit stop handed the win to Craig Baird in the #222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3. It was the first time that the new AMG GT3, which was introduced only this year, won a race.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (C. Baird)
2 #1 JAMEC PAM Audi R8 LMS GT3 (C. Mies)
3 #4 Supabarn Supamarkets Audi R8 LMS GT3 (M. Marshall)

Race 2

A damp track shook up the second race in Melbourne. Tekno Autosports fit their three cars with slicks, as did DeFelice Homes with Benny Simonsen’s brand new Ferrari 488 GT3. The Ferrari didn’t win the race, as that honour was reserved for the #60 Tekno Autosports McLaren of Nathan Morcom. After Morcom closed the six-second gap to Simonsen, he wasn’t able to overtake him but a quicker pit stop handed the McLaren driver the victory. Morcom’s teammates Elliot Barbour and Grant Denyer ended in fourth and fifth.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #60 Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 (N. Morcom)
2 #49 DeFelice Homes Ferrari 488 GT3 (B. Simonsen)
3 #37 Darrell Lea McLaren 650S GT3 (K. Quinn)

Race 3

The third race was affected by the new format as well. Following a long safety car period, Andrea Montermini pulled away during the only remaining race lap to take the flag in first position, ahead of race 2-winner Nathan Morcom. Montermini, however, couldn’t give the #49 DeFelice Homes Ferrari 488 GT3 its first victory, because the pit stop times shook up the order once again. Matthew Solomon took his first Australian GT win in the #38 Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes, ahead of Steve McLaughlan in the second JAMEC PAM Audi-entry.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #38 Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (M. Solomon)
2 #2 JAMEC PAM Audi R8 LMS GT3 (S. McLaughlan)
3 #37 Darrell Lea McLaren 650S GT3 (K. Quinn)

Race 4

Matthew Solomon led the first half of the fourth and last race at Albert Park in the #38 Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes-AMG before the safety car came out. The safety car stayed out until the flag dropped. It was a tight finish and after the pit stop times had been applied, James Koundouris came out with the quickest time of all in his #4 Supabarn Supamarkets Audi. Geoff Emery finished second in the #1 JAMEC PAM Audi. That was enough for him and co-driver Christopher Mies to win the second round of the Australian GT Championship.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #4 Supabarn Supamarkets Audi R8 LMS (J. Koundouris)
2 #1 JAMEC PAM Audi R8 LMS (G. Emery)
3 #11 Objective Racing McLaren 650S GT3 (T. Walls)

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Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.

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Bjorn Smit

Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.