Jack Aitken, Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims won the 2023 Mobil 1 twelve hours of Sebring for Action Express after an incident filled race.
Aitken was able to fend off Nick Yelloly in the #25 Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 in a final 5 minute dash to the checkered flag. The #31 Cadillac and the BMW Yelloly shared with Connor De Phillippi and Sheldon van der Linde were the only GTP cars to survive the hectic race which saw the leading three cars crash out with less than 20 minutes to go.
Going into turn 3, Mathieu Jaminet in the #6 Penske Porsche 963 tried to find his way though GTD traffic as he made contact with the#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06 driven by Felipe Albuquerque. The Portuguese driver was pushed onto the gras and slid along the guardrails. Unable to stop his car, Albuquerque T-Boned the Porsche ahead. Felipe Nasr in the second Porsche couldn’t avoid the wreckage in-front of him. He first crashed into the Acura before going over Jaminet in the sister car. All three cars had to retire on the spot with extensive damage. Even though they were unable to finish the race, the #6 Porsche driven by Matthieu Jaminet, Dane Cameron and Nick Tandy were classified P3 in the GTP class and P9 overall.
The #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura dropped out of contention after loosing its left-rear wheel with less than 2 hours to go. Sebastien Bourdais had to retire the #01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac after dominating the first half of the race. A fuel leak had set the car on fire. The #24 BMW Hybrid also had to retire from the race after Augusto Farfus stopped on track with cooling issues.
Tower Motorsport recovers to take LMP2 victory
Finishing third overall, the LMP2 class honors went to the Tower Motorsport Oreca 07 of Scott McLaughlin, Kyffin Simpson and John Farano. Simpson crashed the car at the exit of turn 1 just after the halfway mark. After the team fixed the extensive front end damage, Simpson was able to recover and handed over the car to McLaughlin, who took the car to the finish line. Scott McLaughlin held off Mikkel Jensen for the class victory. The Kiwi finished just 0.834 seconds ahead of Jensen in the #11 TDS Racing machine. Third place went to Era Motorsport with Ryan Dalziel, Christian Rasmussen and Dwight Merriman sharing the car.
The LMP3 class victory went to Felipe Fraga, Gar Robinson and Josh Burdon in the #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320. Fraga brought the car home one lap ahead of the #13 AWA Duqueine D08 of Lars Kern, Matt Bell and Orey Fidani.
Pfaff takes maiden victory for the 992 Porsche GT3
Pfaff Motorsport took the GTD Pro class win with Laurens Vanthoor, Klaus Bachler and Patrick Pilet sharing the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Pfaff had the perfect strategy for the chaotic end of the race which saw Pilet taking advantage of the Full Course Yellows, running for the last 1 hour and 52 minutes straight, without stopping for fuel or tires. The frenchman crossed the line 2.706 seconds in front of Jack Hawksworth in the#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RCF GT3. Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella completed the GTD Pro Podium. The #79 WeatherTech Racing Team were serious contenders throughout the race, battling for the lead with the #3 Corvette C8.R of Jordan Taylor, Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner in the opening hours of the race. The American Corvette Squad fell of the lead lap after a lengthy pitstop to replace the rear damper. They finished fifth in the end.
After lacking pace during the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, lapping 2 seconds slower compared to their competition, this marked the first victory for the new 992 Type Porsche GT3 car.
In GTD Paul Miller Racing lead a 1-2 victory for BMW. Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis finished ahead of the #96 Turner BMW M4 GT3 of Robby Foley, Patrick Gallagher and Michael Dinan.
Snow battled with the #27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin and the #32 Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes towards the closing stages of the race. A drive through penalty for Michael Grenier in the Korthoff AMG dropped them out of contention, while Marco Sorenson in the Aston Martin made contact with another car and ended up in the barriers.
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