Sebring Hour 2: Mazdas rise to the top

Sebring Hour 2: Mazdas rise to the top


Sebring Hour 2: Mazdas rise to the top


Mazda driver Spencer Pigot held the lead two hours into the running of Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, running under sunny skies with the temperature nearing the 80-degree mark.

Pigot, piloting the No. 55 Team Joest Mazda RT-24-P, took the lead midway through a round of green-flag pit stops after Felipe Nasr pitted in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. At the two-hour mark, Pigot led teammate Oliver Jarvis in the No. 77 Team Joest Mazda and Curran, who had taken over from Nasr.

Team Penske pitted both of its cars 10 minutes before the two-hour mark. Graham Rahal took over for Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura ARX-05, which had been running in the top three. Taylor had a close call during the hour, brushing the lapped No. 54 Core autosport ORECA 07-Gibson while overtaking Jon Bennett in Turn 17. Meanwhile, Simon Pagenaud replaced Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 6, with the team losing time to change rear wings, opting for a different wing angle.

James Calado led GTLM for much of the hour in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE prior to a pit stop. At the end of the hour, Richard Westbrook led the class in the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, followed by Toni Vilander in the No. 62 Ferrari and Joey Hand in the No. 66 Ford.

GTD leader David Heinemeier was penalized for running over an air hose during a pit stop for the No. 15 3GT Racing RC F GT3. That moved Sheldon van der Linde into the lead in the No. 29 Montaplast Audi R8 LMS GT3, followed by Corey Lewis in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Kyle Marcelli in the No. 14 GT3 Racing Lexus.

Kenny Habul had a close call in the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 when he had an off-course excursion and nosed into a tire barrier while running 12th in GTD. He was able to continue, with the race remaining under green-flag conditions throughout the hour.

Antonio Garcia took the 2017 GTLM-winning No. 3 Corvette Racing C7.R24 to the paddock 90 minutes into the race. The team changed batteries, losing six laps before Jan Magnussen took over and returned to the event.

The late-starting No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Gainsco ORECA 07-Gibson also needed an extra stop when Chris Miller could not secure the door following a pit stop.