Michelin Sebring 12-hour 2020 Post-Race
Michelin Sebring 12-hour 2020 Post-Race
MICHELIN, IMSA WRAP UNPRECEDENTED 2020 SEASON IN SEBRING
Acura, Corvette, Aston Martin and Hyundai claim IMSA manufacturer championships
Sebring, Fla. (November 14, 2020) – The most unprecedented season in modern sports car history came to a dramatic and successful conclusion today as the 2020 International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) WeatherTech Championship celebrated the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and crowned its 2020 champions.
The 2019 IMSA season covered 284 days from Daytona to the end of the season. The 2020 season started at Daytona in January, then was shut down until July. After returning to competition, the balance of the entire 2020 season was completed in just 147 days.
“This successful completion of the season in these unprecedented times shows the tremendous commitment by IMSA, the manufacturers, teams, promoters and our Michelin team to the sport and to the fans,” said Tony Ménard, Director of Motorsport, Michelin North America.
“We are grateful to everyone for their support and collaboration as we all committed together to reach this successful end to the season.”
Michelin achieved several milestones this weekend as it wrapped the season. By the end of the third hour, Michelin passed the one-million-mile mark in IMSA competition since becoming the Official Tire of IMSA in 2019. Covering all practice, qualifying and races for Michelin’s three IMSA race series, the total has surpassed 1,051,000 miles.
Additionally, with three new qualifying and race lap records set (all by Chevrolet, with GTLM qualifying and race laps and GS race laps), Michelin is up to 130 lap records since 2019. Teams and drivers set 40 new records this season.
Fourteen of the 17 automotive manufacturers won at least one race. And at the conclusion of a chaotic 12-hour race, Acura (DPi and GTD), Chevrolet Corvette (GTLM), Aston Martin (GS) and Hyundai (TCR) were crowned as regular season manufacturer champions this year.
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Race Notes
While nine cautions interrupted the flow of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, drama lived around every corner in all classes.
Both DPi class championship contenders, the No. 7 Penske Acura (boost issue) and No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac (contact), worked to recover from early race setbacks. Then when the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac took itself out of contention by contacting the other Penske Acura and sustaining damage, the battle fell back to the No. 7 and 10 cars.
Ultimately, the No. 7 pair of Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor claimed the championship by one point, and Acura edged Cadillac by one point for the manufacturer’s championship. Away from the drama, Mazda’s No. 55 car (Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito, Ryan Hunter-Reay) claimed the overall victory.
In GT Daytona, Wright Porsche gave it everything it had to try to wrest the title from Meyer Shank Acura, but was unable to do so. The trio of Jan Heylen, Patrick Long and Ryan Hardwick secured Porsche’s first GTD class win of the year, but third was enough to secure Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry the driver title. Shinya Michimi joined the pair to finish on the podium this race, and Acura captured the manufacturer’s title here once Lexus lost both its cars due to fluid on track.
Both GT Le Mans and LMP2 titles were mathematically secured before today’s race. Champions there are Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia (Corvette, GTLM) and Patrick Kelly (PR1/Mathiasen, LMP2).
In the race, Porsche GT Team had a banner day in GTLM. After starting the day with historic 911 RSR tribute laps and a special presentation of handmade artwork from Michelin to both Porsche and partner team CORE Autosport, the Nos. 911 and 912 cars finished 1-2 in the final race for the factory GTLM program. The trio of Nick Tandy, Fred Makowiecki and Earl Bamber secured Porsche’s third straight Sebring 12-hour win and the team’s third race this season. Bamber also shared the No. 912 car with Laurens Vanthoor and Neel Jani.
PR1/Mathiasen claimed the LMP2 class win with Kelly, Scott Huffaker and Simon Trummer.
MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Race Notes
- Champions Crowned: Both the No. 60 KohR Motorsports Aston Martin and No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai held onto their points leads entering the two-hour Alan Jay Automotive 120 to secure the respective GS and TCR championships. For all four of Nate Stacy, Kyle Marcelli, Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman, it marks their first IMSA championships.
- GS Winners: A late call-up for Cameron Lawrence paid big dividends at Turner Motorsport BMW. Filling in for IMSA’s winningest all-time driver Bill Auberlen, who self-isolated after a potential COVID-19 exposure, Lawrence flew from Texas to Florida to deputize alongside Robby Foley in the No. 95 car. fter qualifying second and handing off to Foley in the lead, the Turner team took its class-leading third GS class win of 2020. The pair of Aston Martins from Archangel Motorsports and KohR Motorsports were second and third.
- TCR Winners: As they have most of the season, the Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai team dominated in TCR. The pairing of Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker won from pole for their second win of the season, edging teammates Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman.
Michelin congratulates the champions of the 2020 IMSA season.
- DPi: Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor, No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 (Drivers), Acura (Manufacturers)
- LMP2: Patrick Kelly, No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07
- GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, No. 3 Corvette C8.R (Drivers), Chevrolet Corvette (Manufacturers)
- GTD: Mario Farnbacher, Matt McMurry, No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 (Drivers), Acura (Manufacturers)
- GS: Nate Stacy, Kyle Marcelli, No. 60 KohR Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Drivers), Aston Martin (Manufacturers)
- TCR: Gabby Chaves, Ryan Norman, No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR (Drivers), Hyundai (Manufacturers)
Michelin congratulates this year’s Michelin Endurance Cup champions as well. Official verification of those results and champions will come later. Wayne Taylor Racing, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, BMW Team RLL and Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini posted during the Sebring race that they had clinched the DPi, LMP2, GTLM and GTD Endurance Cup titles, respectively.
Also of note, Aaron Telitz and Jack Hawksworth (No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3) and Lexus claimed the GTD WeatherTech Sprint Cup championship last race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Michelin congratulates the race winners at Sebring International Raceway:
WeatherTech Championship (Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring)
- DPi: Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell, Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 55 Multimatic Motorsports Mazda RT24-P
- LMP2: Patrick Kelly, Scott Huffaker, Simon Trummer, No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07
- GTLM: Nick Tandy, Fred Makowiecki, Earl Bamber, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR
- GTD: Jan Heylen, Ryan Hardwick, Patrick Long, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
MICHELIN Pilot Challenge (Alan Jay Automotive 120)
- GS: Robby Foley, Cameron Lawrence, No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4
- TCR: Mark Wilkins, Harry Gottsacker, No. 21 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR
The brief interim period between now and 2021 includes the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays, and private testing by many teams, especially for new teams and for those entering the 2021 season with new cars and drivers. Michelin noted this within its Sebring Tech Tip Minute this race on NBC Sports.
In just 67 days, teams will descend on Daytona International Speedway for 2021’s official kickoff. The ROAR Before the Rolex 24 official test (January 22-24) and Rolex 24 At Daytona (January 28-31) race weekends occur in just over two months, and will start all of the WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Endurance Cup, MICHELIN Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge seasons.