2014 12 Hours of Sebring: Hours 1 Update

Joao Barbosa leads away at the start of the race (Courtesy of IMSA)

Andy Meyrick and the DeltaWing lead the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring after the opening hour, leading the pack around during the race’s first full course caution.

Meyrick picked up the lead when he did not pit when the pits opened under the yellow flag, originally called out after David Cheng spun the #8 Starworks Motorsport LMPC entry at turn four. The caution period was then extended by a dramatic fire that took hold of the #33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper.

Ben Keating had pitted the GT Daytona under the yellow flag but only made it as far as turn six before stopping, a line of fire trailing from behind the car betraying some sort of fluid leaking from the car. Thankfully Keating was able to climb out of the car before fire reduced it to little more than a smouldering pile on wheels.

At the drop of the green flag Joao Barbosa had converted the pole position won by Sebastien Bourdais into the lead of the race as Ricky Taylor moved from second into third, passing Olivier Pla at the inside of turn one at the start. However, the Frenchman in the OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan was soon fighting for a way back into second place, but was unable to as Barbosa strode away into a five second lead before the yellow flag came.

Barbosa – like most of the Prototype class – took advantage of the yellow flag to pit for the first time. Of the premier class only Meyrick in the DeltaWing stayed out, as did the pair of RSR Racing LMPC cars, Bruno Junqueira leading the class as he had done since the start of the race, Alex Tagliani moving up to second place in the sister car.

Barbosa lost time in the pits, Scott Sharp able to move into second place in the class in the #1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD.

Patrick Long had led the GTLM class from pole position in Porsche North America’s #912. However, as the entire class pitted under the yellow flag he was shuffled back to fifth, the class lead passing to the #93 SRT Motorsports Viper.

Turner Motorsports’ the GT Daytona pole winners were forced to start from the pitlane after pre-race problems, allowing James Davison into the early class lead in the TRG-AMR Vantage ahead of Alex Job Racing’s #22 Porsche driven by Leh Keen.

There too the order was reshuffled when pitstops occurred under caution, Kuba Giermaziak picking up the lead – and 15th overall – in the MOMO/NGT Motorsports Porsche GT America.

2014 12 Hours of Sebring class standings after 1 hour

#0 – DeltaWing Racing Cars – Meyrick/Legge/Chaves
#1 – Extreme Speed Motorsports – Sharp/Dalziel/Brabham
#5 – Action Express Racing – Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais

#09 – RSR Racing – Junqueira/Ende/Heinemeier Hansson
#08 – RSR Racing – Tagliani/Cumming/Mitchell
#38 – Performance Tech Motorsports – Shears/Matos/Ostella

#93 – SRT Motorsports – Bell/Bomarito/Wittmer
#62 – Risi Competizione – Bruni/Malucelli/Fisichella
#56 – BMW Team RLL – Muller/Edwards/Werner

#30 – MOMO/NGT Motorsports – Giermaziak/Cisneros/Nielsen
#22 – Alex Job Racing – Keen/MacNiel/Frommenwiler
#555 – AIM Autosport – Sweedler/Bell/Mediani/Segal