8 hours into the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the yellow flags have seen more action than anyone these last two hours.
The 7th hour began with a pit stop cycle, putting a pause to the fight between the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura and both Cadillacs, the #31 Whelen Engineering, and the #01 factory effort. The stop cycle saw GTP pole sitter Pipo Derani get back behind the wheel of the #31 to continue the fight his teammate Jack Aitken started in the previous stint.
Filipe Albuquerque stayed in the #10 as did Renger van Der Vande in the #01 and all three drivers continued the fight for the lead on track.
Albuquerque began to build his lead from the Cadillacs to around eight seconds and the #01 continued showing signs of something strange going on with the car. Van Der Zande lost P2 to Derani and maintained about a five-second gap to the Brazilian.
Further back in the GTP field, the #24 BMW M team RLL entry began to slow almost to a stop and was ordered to report right to the garage for significant repairs.
At almost the exact same time as the issues came up for the #24, Kyffin Simpson found himself in a cloud of dust and nose first in the wall in the #8 Tower Motorsport LMP2 machine. A quick dip of the wheels into the dust at Turn one sent the young driver into the tire barriers that have seen so much action this weekend.
The car sustained heavy cosmetic damage, but Simpson was able to bring it back around to the pits for repairs during the subsequent full course yellow. During the yellow, the #24 BMW was officially retired.
When the green flag flew again, it didn’t last long. The yellow came out once more for debris on track shortly after it was put away. The debris came from the GTD Pole sitting #93 Racers Edge Acura which had mysterious contact that was not caught on camera. It’s believed that they made contact with the back of the #12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus which came away with minor rear-end damage while the #93 was forced to retire once it came back to the pits.
During the full course yellow, in an absolutely baffling display, the #38 Performance Edge LMP3, driven by Robert Mau, ran directly into the back of the #6 Porsche seemingly out of nowhere.
When the race once again went green, the #6 was at the back of the field after repairs and the #10 had incurred a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits. Derani lead the field to green and took off like a rocket once he saw the flag, building a substantial gap almost immediately. The #10 was forced to pit from P2 to serve its drive-through and the #85 JDC Miller LMP3 machine made friends with the wall outside of turn 1. The #85 was able to get back and moving but the green flag running was once more short-lived.
In the fight for the GTD lead, the #57 Winward Mercades with Phillip Ellis on the sticks and the #16 Wright Motorsport machine with Zach Robichon behind the wheel made contact. The #16 found the wall and the #57 stopped with apparent front-end damage requiring recovery.
Pipo Derani leads the field going into the final third of the race as the sun sets.
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