Sebring wide open into final quarter

The third quarter of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring ended under the race’s ninth caution after Fred Makowiecki in the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 made contact with the GTD-class No. 66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 while attempting to pass in Turn 17. The Acura made heavy contact the wall, sustaining heavy damage, but Legge walked away.

The primary drama during the third quarter of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac was the crash between Pipo Derani and Miguel Molina that took out both the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing V-Series.R and the GTD-class No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3. While attempting to pass the Ferrari, Derani made contact that sent both cars off course, the Cadillac nosing hard into the tire wall and rolling over. After the safety crew righted the car, Derani walked away. He was checked at the care center and released.

That left a fight at the front between the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8 driven by Maxime Martin and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 with Brendon Hartley at the wheel. Hartley pushed the Acura into the lead, but smoke was trailing behind him. During the FCY, the team spent a long time working on the car and lost a lap.


That left Makowiecki in the lead even as the incident between him and Legge was being reviewed. Makowiecki was followed by Gianmaria Bruni in the No. 5 Proton Competition 963, but both of the lead Porsche’s were on different pit sequences than the rest of the field and stayed out when the rest pitted under yellow.The No. 7 PPM 963 was running third, the first car of the group on the same pit sequence.

LMP2 is still wide open. Connor Zilisch got the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA to the front before handing the lead to Ryan Dalziel. Hunter McElrea ran second in the No. 11 TDS Racing ORECA, followed by Nico Pino in the No. 2 United Autosports entry.

The class split during the yellow separated the GTD PRO and GTD leaders. The No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F GT3 with Ben Barnicoat in the cockpit led GTD PRO, followed by Christopher Mies in the No. 64 Ford Multimatic Motorsports Mustang GT3 in second and Franck Perera in the No. 19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2. However, three cars are on different pit sequences and looking strong – the No. 77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo and the No. 3 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Z06 GT3.R.

Winward Racing continued to lead GTD, now with Indy Dontje at the wheel of the No. 57 Mercedes AMG. On a different pit sequence, the No. 44 Magnus Racing Aston Martin was in second, Spencer Pumpelly in the cockpit. Devlin Defrancesco was third in the No. 78 Forte Racing Lamborghini.

Aside from the No. 31 Cadillac and the No. 21 Ferrari, two other cars have retired since the halfway mark. The No. 83 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2, which had been suffering mechanical problems throughout the race, gave up shortly past halfway. The No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports became the first retirement from GTP after breaking a left-side halfshaft.


Story originally appeared on Racer