Derani/Van Overbeek/Lapierre ESM Nissan clinches 12H Sebring victory
The #22 Extreme Speed Motorsports Nissan driven by Pipo Derani, Johannes van Overbeek and Nicolas Lapierre claimed overall honours in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Derani resisted the efforts of Renger van der Zande in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi to win by a margin of 12 seconds.
The French-built Nissan DPi led out of the final restart with an hour remaining and consolidated its lead through a strong final stint from Derani, who had the advantage coming out of the final set of pit stops with 40 minutes left.
Derani's main challenge - from the #55 Mazda of Harry Tincknell, Spencer Pigot and Jonathan Bomarito - dissipated when Tincknell failed to get the car going out of its pit box.
The Briton hemhorraged time spent stationary, eventually resuming but one lap down on the competition.
Van der Zande took up second place in the Daytona-winning WTR Cadillac, but couldn't eat into Derani's healthy advantage.
The result marked both Derani's and Van Overbeek's second victories at Sebring, following on from their 2016 triumph with ESM, while Lapierre also claimed his second win to back up his 2011 success with Peugeot in LMP1.
It also signalled the Nissan chassis' second endurance win, building on its success at the 10-hour Petit Le Mans season finale last year.
Action Express Racing completed the podium with its Cadillac DPi driven by Felipe Nasr, Mike Conway and Eric Curran.
Romain Dumas, Colin Braun and Jon Bennett finished fourth in the highest placed LMP2 entry - the CORE Autosport ORECA 07-Gibson.
The only other car to finish on the lead lap was the fifth-placed United Autosports LMP2 Ligier, driven by Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Alex Brundle.
Di Resta had been residing in the top three, but needed to make an extra splash to make it to the chequered flag, which dropped the Ligier behind both Nasr the ORECA.
In GTLM, Porsche beat Ferrari in an entertaining factory-backed scrap, with Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki claiming the honours.
The Porsche 911 RSR crew spent much of the second six hours battling the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 of Toni Vilander and FIA world GT champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado.
The crucial move came with just under two hours remaining, when Pilet out-braked Vilander heading into the turn 10 hairpin.
Porsche consolidated its lead through the final two pit stops, winning by a margin of six seconds from the #25 Alexander Sims/Bill Auberlen/Connor de Phillippi BMW M8 which passed the Ferrari in the final reckoning.
Vilander ended up fifth, with Porsche's sister car (which survived losing its rear bodywork panel in hour nine) completing the podium and the #67 Ganassi Ford GT slotting into fourth.
GT Daytona honours went to the Paul Miller Racing squad with its Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis came out best in a fight with the #33 Riley Mercedes AMG-GT3 of Jeroen Bleekemolen, Luca Stolz and Ben Keating.
Bleekemolen had the advantage at the start of the final fuel stint, but was caught and overtaken by Sellers who produced a fine move around the Mercedes at the turn one left-hander.
Sellers held on to win by eight seconds, while Alessandro Balzan also got ahead of Bleekemolen in the sprint to the flag.
Rounding out the class top five were the Land Motorsport Audi and the #15 Lexus, both of which needed to recover from early penalties.