2014 12 Hours of Sebring: Hour 8 Update

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2014 12 Hours of Sebring (Courtesy of IMSA)

In something of a rarity in the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring the eighth hour of the race was conducted entirely under green flag conditions, the hour containing a cycle of green flag pitstops for the front runners.

The cycle began with Simon Pagenaud in the lead in the #1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD. The Frenchman had taken the lead with an opportunistic move when Tony Kanaan was pinched at the apex of turn 15 by a GT Daytona car. However, if the nature in which he took the lead owed something to luck his conduct once past did not as he streaked into a lead of over a dozen seconds before he pitted to hand over to Johannes van Overbeek. Van Overbeek retook the lead when Alex Brundle in the OAK Racing completed the round of stops.

Kanaan in second had pitted, Sage Karam taking over the #02 car, running in second at the end of the hour ahead of the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, which had broken away from a pack of P class cars including the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing car and #1 Extreme Speed Motorsports car.

What remains of the PC class is essentially a two car race between CORE Autosport and the #09 RSR Racing entry. The pair remained closely matched through the hour, two laps ahead of the #8 which occupied third in class at the end of the hour.

Corvette Racing ran first and third at the end of the hour in GTLM. However, the team had held first and second for much of the hour, the #912 Porsche only nipping between them relatively late on.

The #3 Corvette had led before the rounds of pitstops, but lost out to the sister car after pitting a lap later, Tommy Milner taking the lead of the class (and the internecine battle) in the corners immediately following the #3 return from the pits.

The #555 Ferrari – carrying forward the points from the Level 5 Motorsports entry that won the GTD class at Daytona – leads the class, the Turner Motorsports BMW Z4 fractionally behind.

The BMW had picked up the place when the Magnus Racing Porsche slowed, the #44 stuck in gear due to a problem with the air compressor that powers the car’s paddle shift system. Thankfully the time lost was minimal, the repair effected almost within the time of a normal pitstop of fresh tyres and fuel.

2014 12 Hours of Sebring class standings after 8 hours  

#2 – Extreme Speed Motorsports – Brown/Van Overbeek/Pagenaud
#02 – Chip Ganassi Racing – Dixon/Kanaan/Karam
#5 – Action Express Racing – Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais

#54 – CORE Autosports – Bennett/Braun/Gue
#09 – RSR Racing – Ende/Junqueira/Heinemeier Hansson
#8 – Starworks Motorsports – van der Zande/Bird/Fuentes/Cheng

#4 – Corvette Racing – Gavin/Milner/Liddell
#912 – Porsche North America – Bergmeister/Long/Christensen
#3 – Corvette Racing – Magnussen/Garcia/Briscoe

#555 – AIM Autosport – Sweedler/Bell/Mediani/Segal
#94 – Turner Motorsports – Cameron/Dalla Lana/Palttala/Lewis
#22 – Alex Job Racing – MacNiel/Keen/Frommenwiler

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