The first full-course yellow of the race came out 18 minutes before the three-hour mark for an incident that affected contenders in three different classes. Alec Udell in his first stint in an LMP3 car spun the No. 6 Muehlner Motorsports America in Turn 1. Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 81 DragonSpeed ORECA that his son Sebastian had put into the lead of of LMP2, trying to go outside in avoidance, got sandwiched between the spinning LMP3 and the No. 1 Paul Miller BMW M4 GT4. The incident finished the race for DragonSpeed, and sent the Muehlner Motorsports Duqueine and Paul Miller BMW to the paddock for repairs. The BMW had suspension damage to the right rear.
The yellow saw the entire DPi field for a top-off soon as the pits opened, except Mike Conway who stayed out in the lead, where the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac has spent much of the race.
“Sebring is fantastic; It’s always a pleasure to drive around this track, especially with a fantastic car like the Cadillac,” said Pipo Derani, who took the first stint in the No. 31. “It’s a hot day, so pacing yourself will be worth it toward the end of the race.”
The No. 48 Action Express Cadillac has been quick and running in the top three, but a couple of miscues during its last pit stop as Jose Maria Lopez handed over to Kamui Kobayashi left it with two drive-through penalties.
The No. 01 Cadillac that had trouble from the very beginning is now 35 laps down, having had a gearbox change after trying several other fixes. The top three when the race restarted were Conway, Stoffel Vandoorne in the No. 60 MSR Acura and Richard Westbrook in the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac. The No. 60 is worth watching, because the team missed a practice session on Thursday while changing the engine, and thus has more tires available for the race.
GTD Pro had been a close battle between the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 63 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan, now with Jordan Taylor at the wheel of the Corvette and Marco Mapelli in the Huracan. Marco Wittman in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL M4. Two other contenders have had difficulties, the pole sitting No. 62 Risi Competizione and the No. 25 BMW Team RLL Mr, both reportedly with power steering issues.
Daniel Moraad moved the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-AMG, now in the hands of Michael de Quesada, to the front, followed by Marvin Dienst in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG, which had to get there from last having lost its qualifying position. Simon Mann in the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 runs third, with Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 Turner Motorsports car, now BMW’s only hope for a GTD victory, in fourth.
The accident for Montoya in the DragonSpeed car left Racing Team Nederland at the front, Giedo van Der Garde now at the wheel of the No. 29 ORECA, with Scott Huffaker running second in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA that Ben Keating started with a long stint. The No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier is back in the lead of LMP3 after Gar Robinson’s early spin, with Kay van Berlo in the cockpit. Colin Braun in the No. 54 CORE Autosport Ligier runs second.
The race is entering the hottest part of the day, where temperature will hit 90 F, along with high humidity. The conditions will tax drivers and crews before they get any relief when the sun sets at about half-past 7 p.m.