Action Express Racing wins Twelve Hours of Sebring
Action Express Racing has won the 2019 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Pipo Derani, Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr took the overall victory.
Porsche completed a miraculous comeback to win in GTLM, and GRT Grasser Racing wins the second straight race in the 2019 IMSA season in GT Daytona.
The race started behind the safety car as the heavy rain proved too much to race. After half an hour, the green flag dropped and the field set off for twelve hours of racing.
As the track finally dried up, the Whelen Engineering team made an inspired decision to put the #31 on slicks early, allowing the red and white Cadillac to open up a gap that would prove impossible to close down despite best efforts from both Wayne Taylor Racing's #10 Cadillac of Jordan Taylor, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Renger van der Zande and the #5 sister car of Brendon Hartley, Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa.
Mazda Team Joest and Acura Team Penske were unable to mount a significant challenge to the might of the Cadillac contingent. Timo Bernhard in the #77 suffered a significant mechanical issue in the third hour, followed by a crash for Jonathan Bomarito in the #55 at the halfway mark.
The two-car LMP2 field was split early on as the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA of Matt McMurry, Gabriel Aubry and Anders Fjorback lost twenty laps due to a significant suspension failure in the third hour. The delay left the only other LMP2 entry, the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports car of Kyle Masson, Cameron Cassels and Andrew Evans free to claim a remarkably simple victory.
In GTLM, Porsche completed a miraculous comeback to take an unlikely victory. Both 911 RSRs were caught out in the first hour after their rain tires had the wrong pressures, dropping both the #911 and #912 far behind, eventually losing a lap to the GTLM front runners. Up front, the #67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe ran up front for the majority of the race, fending of the #66 sister car of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais as well as both BMW M8 GTEs and the #3 Corvette.
In the closing two hours, two full course yellows brought the entire field together and Nick Tandy, who had worked his way up in the #911 alongside Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki, quickly passed both Joey Hand in the #66 and Mike Rockenfeller in the #3 Corvette before beating the #67 in the pits, much like the WEC squad had done the night before. Tandy then held on as Briscoe made crucial error in the last five minutes, spinning out and handing the Stuttgart squad an unbelievable comeback win.
In GT Daytona, the #11 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan of Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bortolotti and Rik Breukers took their second straight win of the season. The trio had been a regular front runner throughout the day, before the cycle of pitstops in the closing hours catapulted the green-and-orange Huracan to the front before engaging in an epic battle with Magnus Racing's Andy Lally to take victory in what was arguably the closest class of all.