Sebring: 6 hour update
Sebring: 6 hour update
The No.912 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister may have held the lead at the half way mark in the GTLM class at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring but Corvette Racing soon completed a dramatic fightback soon after.
Bergmeister, Pat Long and pole winner Michael Christensen have enjoyed a strong and steady race throughout the day but Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe and Jan Magnussen have had to fight back from being a lap down and last in class to take the lead 23 minutes after the half way mark.
Garcia suffered damage early in the race but quick work by the Corvette Racing crew repaired the front of the car and set the trio off on the chase to get back to the front of the pack.
“We went around the No. 55 BMW at the start and got behind the 56 and I knew I had (Nick) Tandy behind me who was very aggressive,” Garcia said.
“Out of Turn 1, we got pretty close together. As usual we went to the inside and I saw there was going to be a traffic jam. As it was happening, I saw something in the rear-view camera coming really fast and Tandy just hit me really, really hard.
“I don’t know if he was launched by another car or where it started. Initially I was asking if the rear was OK but the team said the front was much worse. Once we changed everything, the car really came to life. The work the crew did made it right. Now we just need the right yellow to get back on the lead lap.”
It has been an impressive weekend for the Magnussen family. Not only is Mags Senior in the leading GTLM car at Sebring, his son Kevin qualified fourth fastest on debut for McLaren in Formula 1 in Australia.
The race at Sebring continued to be strewn with major damage with two dramatic PC class crashes. David Ostella crashed the No.38 into the outside wall exiting turn 17 just before the four hour mark. Frankie Montecalvo in the Camp Boggy Creek No.52 entry was left with nowhere to go and smashed into Ostella.
Just before the half way mark BAR1 Motorsports’ Gaston Kearby spun entering the back straight. He tried to return to the track and spun the car around right into the path of RSR Racing’s Alex Tagliani – destroying both cars.
Other class leaders at the half way point included Ryan Dalziel in the Extreme Speed HPD in the Prototype class; CORE autosport’s Colin Braun in PC and Scuderia Corsa’s Jeff Westphal in GTD.
HALF WAY MARK – SEBRING 12 HOUR
(1) #1-P Ryan Dalziel (HPD ARX-03b) 130 laps
(2) #5-P Christian Fittipaldi (Corvette DP) 130 laps (1.275- in class) (1.275- overall)
(3) #42-P Alexander Brundle (Morgan Nissan) 130 laps (6.390- in class) (6.390- overall)
(10) #912-GTLM Jorg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 RSR) 129 laps (-1 Laps overall)
(11) #93-GTLM Rob Bell (SRT Viper GTS-R) 129 laps (4.178- in class) (-1 Laps overall)
(13) #55-GTLM Joey Hand (BMW Z4 GTE) 129 laps (21.036- in class) (-1 Laps overall)
(12) #54-PC Colin Braun (Oreca FLM 09 Chevrolet) 129 laps (-1 Laps overall)
(18) #09-PC Bruno Junqueira (Oreca FLM 09 Chevrolet) 129 laps (36.256- in class) (-1 Laps overall)
(27) #8-PC Martin Fuentes (Oreca FLM 09 Chevrolet) 127 laps (-2 Laps in class) (-3 Laps overall)
(20) #63-GTD Jeff Westphal (Ferrari F458 Italia) 127 laps (-3 Laps overall)
(21) #94-GTD Paul Dalla Lana (BMW Z4) 127 laps (1.072- in class) (-3 Laps overall)
(22) #555-GTD Townsend Bell (Ferrari F458 Italia) 127 laps (6.154- in class) (-3 Laps overall)