Whelen Cadillac leads Sebring at halfway

The halfway point of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac arrived under caution after LMP2 polesitter and early contender PJ Hyett buried the No. 99 AO Racing ORECA in the tires at Turn 11. The safety crew pulled him out and he was able to drive it back to the pits, where it was still as the sixth hour became the seventh.

After getting caught out by the timing of an earlier caution that meant three trips through the pits, the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing V-Series.R was back at the front, Pipo Derani having returned to the cockpit. However, for much of the previous couple of hours, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 had been at the front, and looking to have the pace to fight. Ricky Taylor was in the car at the top of the hour in second, followed by Felipe Nasr in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963. The sister No. 6 PPM 963 had to come in for a rear bodywork change and dropped a lap, but is now back on the lead lap, running lat in GTP. Sebastien Bourdais is fourth in the No. 01 Cadillac, with the No. 40 WTRAndretti Acura, Louis Deletraz at the wheel, is fifth.

Nine LMP2s remained on the lead lap, led by the No. 52 Euro Interpol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, currently driven by Jakub Smiechowski. Felipe Fraga in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports ORECA and Paul Di Resta in the No. 22 United Autosports ORECA were in pursuit. The No. 04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA that struck trouble early with a puncture has hauled itself back into contention, getting back on the lead lap with the cautions and Colin Braun moving the car up in the order.


Kyle Kirkwood had the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F GT3 back to the front of GTD PRO. Laurin Heinrich in the No. 77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R was in second, followed by Mirko Bortolotti in the No. 18 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Hurscán GT3 Evo2.

Winward Racing remained in control of GTD, Russell Ward still keeping a bunch of GTD PRO cars in between his No. 57 Mercedes AMG and the next GTD car, Jan Heylen in the No, 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 was third.

A couple of runners are experiencing ongoing mechanical difficulties. The No. 4 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Z06 GT3.R is battling clutch issues. The No. 83 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 has been in and out of the pits and even back to the paddock with an unknown technical issue.

Other issues include the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes AMG suffering a broken rear suspension after contact with the No. 86 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Klaus Bachler. Bachler was also involved in contact with the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S which had contact and puncture on the first lap, and the McLaren is now 23 laps behind the GTD PRO leaders.

The third official retirement is the Richard Mille AF Corse ORECA LMP2 entry, which cause the caution at the end of the third hour.

Note: IMSA President John Doonan announced on IMSA Radio that this year’s attendance at Sebring for the Twelve Hours is an all-time record.


Story originally appeared on Racer