High drama in Sebring finish

Image by Scott LePage/LAT

High drama in Sebring finish

IMSA

High drama in Sebring finish

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A caution flag with 15 minutes remaining took the torrid close to the 67th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and dialed the drama up to the maximum as the DPi, GT Le Mans, and GT Daytona classes all tightened up in anticipation of the green flag.

With all three categories featuring first and second place cars separated by three seconds or far less, the full-course yellow to retrieve the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 with its broken front suspension gave DPi leader Felipe Nasr (Action Express Racing) and Jordan Taylor (Wayne Taylor Racing) a moment to reset.

Nor rain, nor traffic, nor dark of night kept the Whelen Engineering Cadillac from its appointed winning rounds. Image by Levitt/LAT

The green returned with seven minutes to go and Nasr’s Cadillac DPi-V.R left Taylor’s similar machine behind. In GTLM, the tight Porsche lead by Nick Tandy over Ford’s Ryan Briscoe held when the Chip Ganassi Racing driver spun while trying to overtake Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally, who, like Briscoe, was in second and fighting to take the GTD lead.

With Briscoe out of the picture, Tandy cruised home to win in the No. 911 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR as Briscoe’s Ford teammate Joey Hand moved up to second and Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia climbed to third.

Bortolotti exults after his fight to the finish. Image by Scott LePage/LAT.

Lally found himself just over a half-second behind GRT Grasser Racing’s Mirko Bortolotti who withstood immense pressure from the Magnus driver. The Lamborghini 1-2 held with Bortolotti drawing away from Lally in the final moments. Scuderia Corsa’s Toni Vilander made it an all-Italian super car podium with his Ferrari 488 GT3.

Action Express Racing and Cadillac utterly dominated the race up front, leading all but 18 laps after the race went to green late in the first hour. Nasr’s statement-making performance showed why he’s the reigning Prototype champion, though with Taylor refusing to quit, the margin of victory was a scant 1.03s at the checkered flag.

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