Eric Curran in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac leads from Christian Fittipaldi after two hours in the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, after problems delayed the polesitting Rebellion Racing ORECA.
Reigning World Champion Neel Jani lead away from the two Cadillacs of Fittipaldi and Curran’s team-mate Dane Cameron on a track more suited to the P2 cars than Daytona.
Cadillac’s pursuit was hindered by trying to lap the delayed #55 Mazda of Jonathon Bomarito which allowed Jani to double his lead to five seconds over the course of one lap.
However, in the course of the first pitshops, Jani’s luck changed. An air-wrench issue meant that the team was unable to change tyres losing the team time while they adjusted to the issue.
Cameron got out first and quickly pulled away from Jani who attempted to hold off Fittipaldi who was on new tyres.
Jani did not stay there for long as he was given a drive-thru penalty for improperly manned fuel bottle during the stop. The penalty dropped it to sixth.
The first caution was just after the one hour mark when Joel Miller in the #70 Mazda went into the tyre wall at high speed at turn 17, due to a brake problem.
The caution allowed Jani to get back on terms with the lead Cadillacs and towards the end of the second hour he managed to put Fittipaldi under plenty of pressure.
However, yet another pitshop again proved to be the downfall of the #13 Rebellion. As Jani pulled in to handover to Sébastien Buemi at the end of the second hour the car refused to start.
The car lost two laps as they attempted to fire the engine ending up ninth in class.
As the two leading Cadillacs came in for their pitshops, Fittipaldi handed over to Filipe Albuquerque who ended the hour just behind Curran.
The Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac starting from sixth after set-up problems in qualifying, but pulled themselves up to rejoin the three Cadillacs at the top of the leaderboard by the end of the hour.
In PC polesitter Gustavo Yacaman in the #26 BAR1 Motorsports car and the Daytona winners of #38 Performance Tech Motorsports of Patricio O’Ward engaged in a hour long battle.
Eventually O’Ward gained the upper hand after Yacaman handed over to Marc Drumwright, with the second BAR1 Motorsport car taking taking up the chase, with the #26 ending up in third.
In GTLM Ford has lead throughout with the #66 of Dirk Mueller but closely followed by #3 Corvette of Jan Magnusson.
However, the race started with problems of the polesitting #67 Ford GT, which failed to get away from the pitlane with a gearbox problem but eventually managed to rejoin the rear of the field.
The resultant drive-thru penalty didn’t help progress but eventually managed to get into the leading group.
The second Corvette and last year’s winner #4 of Oliver Gavin went behind the wall with water temperature problems leading to its retirement.
In GTD the two hours ended with a Mercedes 1-2-3 with the two Riley Motorsports cars out in front.
Third place was the GTD pole sitter, the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes AMG GT of Tristian Vautier.
Like the GTLM polesitter, it also started from the pitlane and had to take a drive-thru penalty. Yet by the end of the second hour is was up into third place, behind the two Riley Motorsports Mercedes.
Connor De Phillipi led much of the first two hours in the #29 Audi with Corey Lewis #16 Lamborghini kept a watching brief in second.
Top 3 after 2 Hours
31 Whelen Engineering Racing- Eric Curran, Dane Cameron, Mike Conway, Seb Morris
5 Mustang Sampling Racing – Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi
10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta – Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Alex Lynn
38 Performance Tech Motorsports – James French, Patricio O’Ward, Kyle Masson
20 BAR1 Motorsports – Don Yount, Buddy Rice, Danny Burkett
26 BAR1 Motorsports – Chapman Ducote,Gustavo Yacaman, Colin Thompson, Marc Drumwright
66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand, Sebastien Bourdais
67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon
3 Corvette Racing – Jan Magnusson, Antonio Garcia, Mike Rockenfeller
33 Riley Motorsports – Ben Keating, Jeroem Bleekemolen, Mario Farnbacher
50 Riley Motorsports – Cooper MacNeil, Shane Van Gisbergen, Gunnar Jeanette
75 SunEnergy1– Tristian Vautier, Kenny Habul, Boris Said