Pipo Derani won the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring for the fourth time on Saturday night and topped the results on Saturday night with co-drivers Jack Aitken and Alexander Sims as Action Express Racing inherited the win after a crash in the top three with less than 20 minutes left.
The No. 31 Cadillac started from pole but hopped through the GTP field in a 12-hour race at Sebring International Raceway.
Action Express endurance driver Aitken was fourth when Wayne Taylor Racing crashed with both Porsche Penske Motorsport competitors.
WTR Acura driver Filipe Albuquerque tried to squeeze Mathieu Jaminet inside for the lead, but Jaminet had to swerve deeply to avoid lapped traffic and a touch with Albuquerque knocked the Acura off the track.
RESULTS: Click here for the final overall finishing order l Click here for the class breakdown.
Albuquerque sped through a grassy corner and returned to the race surface, only to slam straight into Jaminet. It caused a multi-car crash which collected Felipe Nasr, who finished third in the second Porsche Penske Motorsport outing.
Aitken, a British racing driver and reserve driver in Formula 1, completed victory for Action Express in his second career IMSA sportscar race.
“Of course it was quite tricky at the end. There’s a lot going on,” said Aitken. “We struggled a lot with the tires at the end and that’s not how you want to win the race, but we were there when it was needed and kept it clean.”
Derani, who won pole in the Cadillac V-Series.R, was delighted with his fourth win after falling early in the race when he got stuck behind a spinning LMP3 car with no way out. After managing to stay on the lead lap despite significant damage that required a front wing change, Derani and the number 31 stayed on the hunt and with a quick pit stop jumped back to first place in under five hours.
Derani felt for the leaders, who were in a three car battle in the closing minutes of the race until her crash at the end of the race.
“I’m sorry for the guys who crashed, they drove a great race, but you have to be a bit lucky in motorsport,” said the Brazilian. “We had a flawless race at the beginning after the incident, we recovered well, so it’s just fantastic to be number four here.”
Second went to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in a BMW M Hybrid V8 with Connor de Phillippi, Nick Yelloly and Sheldon Van Der Linde.
There was so much attrition in the top GTP class that third overall went to Tower Motorsports LMP2 entrant, which IndyCar star Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske entered in only his second IMSA sportscar race.
The No. 8 Tower ORECA LMP2 07, which also includes John Farano, came back to win after Kyffin Simpson, a development driver at IndyCar, fell earlier in the race.
“Young bloke Kyffin drove well, so did John, but our team really put us on the right track to get our car back together after our little one went off,” McLaughlin said. “Now that we’re on the winning track, we’re going to let him off the hook.”
Other class winners:
LMP3: No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 with Felipe Fraga, Gar Robinson and Josh Burdon
GTD Pro: Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) No. 9 with Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet and Laurens Vanthoor
GTD: No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 with Corey Lewis, Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow
STATISTICS PACK FOR MOBILE 1 TWELVE HOUR SEBRING:
Fastest laps by driver
Driver’s fastest post-race laps (weekend)
Fastest laps by driver and class after the race
Fastest lap sequence
Race analysis by lap
Pit stop time cards
Best sector times
Race distance and speed average
NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship continues with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 14-15.
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Final 2023 12 Hours of Sebring results: Cadillac #31 recovers to victory after mishap originally appeared on NBCSports.com