Despite their best efforts to throw it away in the last hour. Cadillac Racing Ganassi Chip No. 02 of Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Neel Jani claimed the 70th Twelve Hours of Sebring Car presented by Advance Auto Parts — second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship — to lead Cadillac 1-2-3 in a race that set a new DPi distance record 351 laps for a 12 hour race. Cadillac JDC-Miller Motorsports No. Richard Westbrook’s 5, Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval finished second, 6,471 seconds behind, and the Action Express Racing Cadillac No. 31 of Pipo Derani, Tristan Nunez and Mike Conway were third, 8.145 seconds away. arrears.
It was a double win for General Motors, as Jordan Taylor, Antonio Garcia and Nicky Catsburg won the GTD Pro with ease in the Corvette No.
Cadillac No. 02 didn’t really seem like a contender until closing time, and Lynn in her final stint was starting to stretch the lead, even while conserving fuel, so they knew she could quit once more after Lynn was pitted and handed over to Bamber. But then Bamber clipped the LMP3 in his lap and spun around, giving Westbrook the lead at No. 5.
Bamber then started chasing Westbrook, but it was still anyone’s race. Bamber could have used Lynn’s saved fuel to close the gap to Westbrook, and he did, taking the lead with just under an hour remaining. But seconds later, as he passed 21 AF Corse Ferrari who was second in the GTD, Bamber made contact, spun around and Westbrook passed him again. Bamber catches up again with a six-second deficit he wants to clear.
Right after Earl Bamber took the overall lead, he spun around!
— Motorsports at NBC (@MotorsportsNBC) March 20, 2022
At the same time, Tristan Nunez spun the axis, descending to a distance of 1m48s to try to bring his Cadillac Express Action Race No. 31 into the fight.
With 45 minutes remaining and the final pit stop to come, Westbrook was held back by a GT car, and Bamber, acting decisively and using another GT car as a pick, took the lead once again.
No. 02 lead after the last stop, over No. 5 with Tristan Vautier now behind the wheel. After the final round of stops, in which all competitors took new tires, the top five closed by 25 seconds, and with the exception of the gap between first and second, most of the gap shrank. Tom Blomqvist and Ricky Taylor fought for fourth place in the last 25 minutes, but the fight fell to Taylor at No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura, and the sequence is basically set.
Corvette racing seems to be in control in the GTD Pro, with the biggest showdown for most races coming from the BMW RLL M4 GT3 Team No. 24 from Philipp Eng, Marco Wittman and Nick Yelloly, but the car ran into some problems towards the end, leaving the Lamborghini TR3 Race No. 63 of Marco Mapelli, Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti to try to catch them. The gap closed to 4.438 seconds at the end, but there was never a real challenge. Jules Gounon at No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 sped past the slowing Aaron Telitz at No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to take third with Maro Engel and Cooper MacNeil.
It would be easy to calculate him No. 47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari in GTD. The car was involved in several incidents throughout the race and was far from the same color scheme as starting the race. But in the closing laps, with his then-fading BMW Turner Motorsport car, Antonio Fuoco swept the lead he held until the end, sharing the win with Giorgio Sernagiotto and Roberto Lacorte.
Turner BMW had plenty of pace until the end of the race and, as Bill Auberlen put it, they continued to strategize to take the lead. But Auberlen knew two hours before the race ended that they most likely wouldn’t be able to hold on to the lead with a car that had an undiagnosed problem. The team came off the podium completely when they had to make an extra stop to get Robby Foley back in the car as it looked like Auberlen was about to miss his maximum driving time.
The number 32 Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG of Mike Skeen, Stevan McAleer and Daniel Juncadella finished second, followed by polesitter Toni Vilander at number 21 AF Corse Ferrari with Luis Perez Company and Simon Mann.
Ben Keating places No. Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA’s 52 PR1s took pole position in LMP2, and he, Mikkel Jensen and Scott Huffaker dominated the race, finishing one lap ahead of Race Team No. 29 Nederland ORECA from Fritz Van Eerd, Giedo van Der Garde and Dylan Murry. Ryan Dalziel, Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merman are third in the ORECA Motorsport Era No.
Malthe Jakobsen has a practical advantage in LMP3 driving the Sean Creech Motorsport No. 33 which he shared with Joao Barbosa and Lance Willsey, but that didn’t stop him from recording the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages to put even more distance between second-place Jr III Racing Ligier of Garett Grist, Ari Balogh and Dakota Dickerson. Ligier Motorsports Tech Performance No. 38 of Dan Goldburg, Rasmus Lindh and Cameron Shields came in third.
Full report to follow.