12 Hours of Sebring: Hours 10-12 Update: ESM Takes Prototype Win at Sebring


The #22 was victorious at Sebring
Credit: Jake Galstad / LAT Images

The Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi of Luis Felipe Derani, Nicholas Lapierre and Johannes van Overbeek conquered all to win the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, while the Porsche GT Team and Paul Miller Racing were able to do the same in their respective GT classes.

Derani took the last stint after taking over from Lapierre, and climbed to the front of the field as the promised challenge from Mazda Team Joest ended in disappointment when a slow pit stop cost the #55 of Harry Tincknell, Spencer Pigot and Jonathan Bomarito more than two minutes, and more importantly a lap to the race leaders, which was particularly galling as the car was only six seconds behind when it happened.

This left Derani free at the front of the field, and when the clock ticked over to twelve hours, the conclusion of the three hundred and forty-fourth lap saw the #22 ESM end 12.427 seconds clear of the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Third place ended up with the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac of Felipe Nasr, Mike Conway and Eric Curran, although they were pushed hard by the #32 United Autosports Ligier LMP2 of Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Alex Brundle, with the final podium position only being decided late on when di Resta was forced to pit for a splash of fuel.

The extra pit stop also allowed the #38 CORE Autosport Oreca LMP2 of Romain Dumas, Colin Braun and Jon Bennett to claim fourth, with the #32 the last car on the lead lap, ahead of the unfortunate #55 Mazda RT24-P of Tincknell.

Six laps off the pace in seventh was the #99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca of Mikhail Goikhberg, Chris Miller and Stephen Simpson, while the second Mazda, delayed earlier in the race, was eighth, with the #77 of Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez and Rene Rast ten laps behind the race winning Nissan.

The Mazda RT24-P had its strongest outing yet
The #55 was in contention until a slow final pit stop lost it a lap – Credit: Jake Galstad LAT Images

GT Le Mans

The final few hours saw the battle for honours in GT Le Mans become a straight fight between the #911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and the #25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTLM of Alexander Sims, with the Porsche ultimately coming out on top by 6.230 seconds.

Tandy, who shared the car with Patrick Pilet and Frederick Makowiecki, completed three hundred and twenty-eight laps in the leading GT Le Mans car, while the sister car, the #912 of Gianmaria Bruni, Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor ended third, just over eleven seconds behind the Sims, Connor de Phillippi and Bill Auberlen BMW.

The #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing machine of Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon and Richard Westbrook recovered from a brief technical moment at the beginning of hour ten, when Westbrook brought the car in halfway through its planned stint, to claim fourth after passing the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Toni Vilander with just fifteen minutes remaining.

The #911 Porsche won the GT Le Mans class
Nick Tandy took the chequered flag for the #911 Porsche GT Team – Credit: Jake Galstad LAT Images

GT Daytona

Bryan Sellers pulled off a great move on Jeroen Bleekemolen in the final hour to give the Paul Miller Racing team victory in GT Daytona, with the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 ending 8.169 seconds to the good at the end of the day.

The car that Sellers shared with Madison Snow and Corey Lewis was embroiled in a battle with the Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports GT3 of Bleekemolen, Ben Keating and Luca Stolz for much of the last few hours, but the Mercedes was left to defend its second place in the final laps as it came under attack from the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari of Alessandro Balzan, Gunnar Jeannette and Cooper MacNeil, with Balzan jumping into second in the final few minutes.

Christopher Mies, Sheldon van der Linde and Alessio Picariello ended off the podium in fourth in the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi, with the #15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth, David Heinemeier Hansson and Dominik Farnbacher fifth.

The top ten in the GT Daytona class all finished on the lead lap, with the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche, the #93 and #86 Michael Shank Racing Acuras, the #73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche and the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes all completing the same number of laps as the class victors.

Paul Miller Racing was victorious at Sebring
Paul Miller Racing celebrate victory at Sebring – Credit: Jake Galstad LAT Images