Sebring Hour 8: Nissan leads as Penskes retire

Sebring Hour 8: Nissan leads as Penskes retire


Sebring Hour 8: Nissan leads as Penskes retire


After eight hours of racing in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Johannes van Overbeek continued to show the way as the hour saw both Team Penske Acuras officially retire.

There were a pair of cautions early in the hour, resulting in several contenders falling by the wayside. The seventh full-course caution came out only five minutes into the hour. Juan Pablo Montoya – who had spun in Turn 17 after an incident with pole-sitter Tristan Vautier’s No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac DPi-V.R – tried to continue but came to a stop in the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05. Vautier was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for the incident.

Though Team Penske said the No. 6 was being worked on for a mechanical issue, the team announced 30 minutes later that both its Acuras had retired from the race.

The No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTLM of Connor de Phillippi changed brakes during the caution, losing a lap in the process. De Phillippi ran with the leaders for the remainder of the hour, trying in vain to get his lap back.

On the lap following the restart, Renger van der Zande in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac and Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac had side-by-side contact in Turn 3 while battling for third position. Van der Zande lost a piece of bodywork in the incident, bringing out the eighth caution of the race – although a brief one. Van der Zande then pitted under green for new bodywork.

Moments later, Joao Barbosa in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac got together with James French in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA 07-Gibson at the pit entrance. Both limped to their pits for lengthy repairs, with Barbosa falling out of contention with damaged steering.

After eight hours, van Overbeek led Curran by 4.03 seconds, with Phil Hanson third in the No. 32 United Autosport Ligier JSP217, 16.9679s back.

Frederick Makowiecki led a tight pack of contenders in GTLM in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. He was followed by Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, Richard Westbrook in the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Ford GT and Marcel Fassler in the No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R.

In GTD, Jeroen Bleekemolen returned the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG to the lead, followed by the Michael Shank Racing Acuras, the No. 93 of Mario Farnbacher and the No. 86 driven by Katherine Legge.