Sebring: Extreme Speed Motorsports Nissan Victorious
$NSANY, $GM, $RACE, $MZDAY
The Extreme Speed Motorsports Nissan squad claimed victory in a close Sebring 12 Hours race.
The #22 ESM Onroak-Nissan DPi driven by Pipo Derani, Nicolas Lapierre and Johannes van Overbeek completed a 12-sec victory in the 2nd round of the 2018 IMSA SportsCar Championship.
Mr. Derani was at the front of the safety car line when the race went Green with just over 1 hour of the race to run.
After a restart, he was able to pull a clear gap over Felipe Nasr in the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Brazilian Derani was 6 secs up on Harry Tincknell in the best of the Joest Racing Mazda RT24-P Daytona Prototype internationals going into the final round of pit-stops with 40 mins left to run.
But he emerged with a 9-sec lead over the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac driven by Renger van der Zande and was able to control the gap to the Chequered Flag.
The Mazda, which Tincknell shared with Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot, failed to restart at its final stop and needed a push to get going, dropping the car to 6th position.
The Action Express entry of Nasr, Eric Curran and Mike Conway lost out to Tincknell after the final restart and then fell behind Mr. van der Zande just before the stops.
Mr.Nasr faded to a distant 3rd over the last hour, but was still nearly 1/2 min up on the CORE Autosport ORECA-Gibson 07 driven by Colin Braun, Romain Dumas and Jon Bennett at the Chequered Flag.
The CORE entry jumped to 4th as the 1st LMP2 car home with 10 mins to go when Paul di Resta made a fast fuel stop in the United Autosports Ligier-Gibson JSP217 he shared with Alex Brundle and Phil Hanson.
Both Penske Acuras were in contention until their respective retirements.
Ricky Taylor stopped the #7 car with engine problems shortly after 6 hours, while Juan Pablo Montoya retired the sister car just over 1 hour later after a clash with Tristan Vautier in the Spirit of Daytona Cadillac.
The #5 Action Express Cadillac driven by Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi, winner of the Daytona 24 Hours IMSA opener in January, dropped out of contention in the 8th hour with a long stop for suspension repairs.
Porsche took GT Le Mans honors with the CORE-run Porsche 911 RSR shared by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki.
Mr. Pilet came out on Top in a thrilling battle with Toni Vilander in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE at the end of the 10th hour.
Tandy took over for the run to the Flag and proved equal to the challenge of Alexander Sims’s Rahal BMW M8 GTE to secure a 6-sec class victory.
The BMW, in which Sims was joined by Connor De Phillippi and Bill Auberlen, came back from a lap down after a mid-race brake change.
Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis took GT Daytona honors in their Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Mr. Sellers led into the final round of pitstops, but then had to pass Jeroen Bleekemolen’s Riley-run MercedesAMG GT3 to seal the victory.
Have a terrific weekend