It might still be early in the year but this weekend saw one of the busiest race weekends of the year. In Germany the NLS kicked off it’s season after last weekend’s test day was snowed off. No such problems in Florida where the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship got together for their annual Sebring blow out. We try and round up some of the main  action below.

NLS 1: 68. ADAC Westfalenfahrt

Dries Vanthoor and Maxime Martin took the opening win of the season in NLS 1 after bringing home their #99 Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3 just ahead of  Kim-Luis Schramm in the #16 Scherer Sport PHX Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II he shared with Ricardo Feller. In the final minutes, the two were separated by just 1.5 seconds. 

Interestingly Rowe Racing entered two cars into the race, both with  Vanthoor and Martin as named drivers. Vanthoor started the race in the #98 and led at the start having started from P7,  before swapping to the #99 to finish the race.

FIA World Endurance Championship – 1000 miles of Sebring

Toyota took a double win in the opening round of the 2023 series with the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez taking the flag  2.168s ahead of the sister No. 8 car which was driven by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa and giving Toyota it’s 40th win in the championship.


The win came ahead of strong challenge from the #50 Ferrari 499P Hypercar crewed by Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina who started the race from pole position but were aware that there pace still wouldn’t be sufficient to take the race win. 

The Hertz Team JOTA squad took the first LMP2 win of the 2023 FIA WEC season with its No.48 Oreca-Gibson driven by Yifei Ye, Will Stevens and David Beckmann. The trio controlled the second half of the race and despite looking like they’d blown any chance of a win with a late splash and dash, the trio were able to take the checkered flag by just 2.8s.


LMGTE Am went the way of the home team with Corvette Racing taking the win after Nicolas Varrone, Ben Keating and Nicky Catsburg dominated the final half of the race to ensure victory.  The win gets reigning category champion Keating back into his title defence on the right foot whilst his teammates Varrone and Catsburg each claimed their first WEC wins.


IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship – 12 hours of Sebring

The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac V-Series.R won Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at the historic Sebring International Raceway – the team’s first victory in IMSA’s new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class e. Having started from pole position the car driven by Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitkin took victory after late drama saw the top three taken out of the race in dramatic fashion with just 20 minutes of the race remaining.

Victory in the LMP2 class went to the #08 Oreca 07 of Tower Motorsport driven by John Farano, Scott McLaughlin and Kyffin Simpson. An incident at the halfway mark sent the car to the pits for repairs, but the trio pulled out all the stops to get the No. 8 back in front despite a fierce challenge from Mikkel Jensen during the final minutes.

The LMP3 class was won by the #74 Riley Ligier JS P320 trio of Gar Robinson, Josh Burdon and Felipe Fraga. With two hours remaining the #30 Jr III Racing Ligier had almost built a full-lap lead on the LMP3 field but a full-course caution allowed Fraga in the No. 74 to close up behind Garett Grist, the finishing driver of the No. 30. With 78 minutes to go from the restart and with fresh tyres on the #74 thanks to a pit stop under the yellow flags, the Brazilian made the pass for the lead on the first lap following the restart.

GTD Pro went to the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R which made a remarkable comeback after a crash in qualifying the day before required 11 hours to repair and forced the team to start well down the pack. The team comprising of Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet and Laurens Vanthoor finished 2.7 seconds ahead of second place after Pilet completed the last 41 laps of the race without stopping for fuel and tires – a duration of one hour, 52 minutes.

The GTD win went to the #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Bryan Sellars, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis who also did a long final stint after a gamble on late yellows to stretch fuel mileage with Madison Snow’s 40-lap final stint.



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