SEBRING — It was a three-way battle between Cadillacs over the final five hours of the 67th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. But when the checkered flag was waved it was the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran and Pipo Derani that claimed the victory.
“We finished second here a couple of times in the Whelen cars,” Curran said. “It feels amazing to finally win it.”
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling, No. 10 Konica Minolta and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering cars took turns up front over the final five hours of the race. The Whelen Engineering Cadillac spent much of the final hour in front but saw its eight-second lead cut to three seconds following the final pit stop for both cars.
Nasr responded with his best lap of the race to give the team a little breathing room, but the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW suffered a suspension issue with 15 minutes to bring out a yellow and make it a final sprint to the finish and Nasr was able to fend off Jordan Taylor in the Konica Minolta Cadillac. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling entry placed third.
The two-car LMP2 class came down to the last lap in Friday’s qualifying session, but things weren’t quite as intense during the race. A suspension issue sent the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen car behind the wall for 45 minutes less than three hours into the race, allowing the No. 38 Performance Tech to cruise to an easy victory with drivers Kyle Masson and Cameron Cassels.
In GTLM, the No. 911 Porsche RSR of Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki inherited the lead with 35 minutes remaining after the class-leading No. 3 Corvette Racing C7.R made its final pit stop, with the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Ford GT in hot pursuit. Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford GT tried to make a pass of a GTD car after the final restart and lost second place to his teammate Joey Hand in the No. 66 Ford GT and the No. 3 Corvette Racing team placed third, one night after competing in the World Endurance Championship’s 1000 Miles of Sebring.
The GTD class was the typical dogfight, with eight cars separated by less than a minute with 45 minutes left in the race, but it was the Lamborghinis of GRT Grasser Racing and Magnus Racing that put a 20-second gap over the rest of the field in the final hour. Andy Lally in the Magnus Lamborghini Huracan kept the pressure on Mirko Bortolotti the final hour, but was never able to get by and had to settle for second place.
The No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari rounded out the podium with a third-place finish.
The race began under a yellow flag due to wet track conditions and finally went green 41 minutes after the start and four cars spun out on the track in the first 36 minutes of green racing.