Sebring 12 Hours: Nasr holds off Taylor to win for AXR

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Sebring 12 Hours: Nasr holds off Taylor to win for AXR
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Mar 17, 2019, 2:47 AM

Action Express Racing trio Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Eric Curran enjoyed a near-faultless run to secure victory in the Sebring 12 Hours and lead home an all-Cadillac podium.

The Whelen Engineering-backed #31 Cadillac DPi.V-R moved into the lead right at the end of the first hour in wet conditions, with the heavy rain ensuring the first 40 minutes were run under caution.

From there, despite several safety car periods bunching up the pack over the course of the race, Nasr, Derani and Curran were able to maintain their advantage at the head of the field throughout.

The penultimate caution period, which came with two hours to go, erased what had been a 47s advantage for Derani, who then had to survive one final restart in the final 15 minutes when the Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 parked at Turn 3 with suspension problems.

Jordan Taylor had picked off Brendon Hartley's AXR Cadillac at the previous restart to move the Rolex 24-winning Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac up to second, but when the green flag was shown with seven minutes to run, Taylor was powerless to challenge Nasr.

The Brazilian eventually crossed the line 1.030 seconds ahead of Taylor, who sealed second place in the Cadillac he shared with Renger van der Zande and newcomer Matthieu Vaxiviere.

Hartley and the full-timers in the #5 Cadillac, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque, completed the podium a further 2.9s behind.

IndyCar ace Alexander Rossi brought home the best of the Acura Team Penske entries fourth. Both Acura ARX-05s struggled badly early on when the conditions were at their worst, but the #7 car shared by Rossi and full-timers Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor was able to recover from losing a lap.

The sister #6 car lost more ground with an electrical problem and then two changes of the rear deck, meaning Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud ended up nine laps down.

Completing the top five was the CORE autosport Nissan DPi, ahead of the best of the Mazda Team Joest cars, the #55 RT24-P of Harry Tincknell, Olivier Pla and Jonathan Bomarito.

Mazda's victory hopes were all but extinguished when an off for Bomarito before half-distance cost the car three laps, although subsequent caution periods meant the #55 finished only a lap down.

The sister #77 car dropped more than 100 laps off the lead with a battery issue that caused Timo Bernhard to stop out on track with his car on fire early in the third hour.

GTLM: Porsche completes miracle comeback

Victory in GTLM went to the #911 Porsche 911 RSR shared by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki, which dropped off the lead lap in the wet early stages.

By half-distance, the trio had got back on to the lead lap, and after the penultimate caution Tandy vaulted from fourth to second in class behind the #67 Ford GT.

Ryan Briscoe was tasked with holding off Tandy, but the Australian slipped behind at the start of the final hour following their respective pitstops.

He had closed Tandy's lead from 4sec to 1sec before the final caution, but then spun trying to navigate traffic after the final restart, making contact with Andy Lally's Magnus Racing Lamborghini.

That promoted the #66 Ford GT of Sebastien Bourdais, Dirk Muller and Joey Hand to second at the finish, ahead of the #3 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller, which was off-sequence and led before its final pitstop.

BMW's top finisher was the #24 car of John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Philipp Eng, ahead of the second of the Porsches, the #912, and the #67 Ford shared by Briscoe, Scott Dixon and Richard Westbrook.

Corvette's #4 entry ended up nine laps down due to halfshaft and alternator problems.

GTD: Grasser Lamborghini doubles up

A thrilling scrap for GT Daytona honors was finally won by the #11 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Rolex 24-winning trio Mirko Bortolotti, Rik Breukers and Rolf Ineichen.

It means Breukers has a perfect win rate in IMSA, having made just three starts - two Rolex 24s and a Sebring 12 Hours - and won all three. All have been achieved with the Grasser team and Bortolotti and Ineichen.

Bortolotti was split from fellow Lamborghini driver Lally by less than three seconds at the finish, with Lally surviving his late brush with Briscoe's Ford to hold on to the runner-up spot in the Magnus Racing entry he shared with John Potter and Spencer Pumpelly.

Third place went to the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Toni Vilander, Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Westphal, ahead of the Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS and the Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG-GT3.

A late drive-through penalty demoted the best of the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s, the #86 car, to seventh ahead of the sister all-female car in eighth.

Class honors in LMP2 went to the Performance Tech Oreca crewed by Kyle Masson, Cameron Cassels and Andrew Evans, 13 laps up on its sole opponent, the PR1/Mathiasen Oreca.

Race results:

Pos. Class No. Drivers Chassis Laps Time
1 DPi 31 Brazil Pipo Derani
United States Eric Curran
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Cadillac DPi 348  
2 DPi 10 United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Cadillac DPi 348 1.030
3 DPi 5 New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Portugal Joao Barbosa
Cadillac DPi 348 4.023
4 DPi 7 United States Alexander Rossi
Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
Acura DPi 348 11.331
5 DPi 54 France Romain Dumas
United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
Nissan DPi 347 1 lap
6 DPi 55 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
France Olivier Pla
United States Jonathan Bomarito
Mazda DPi 346 2 laps
7 DPi 85 Colombia Juan Piedrahita
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
France Tristan Vautier
Cadillac DPi 346 2 laps
8 DPi 84 Switzerland Simon Trummer
United States Chris Miller
South Africa Stephen Simpson
Cadillac DPi 345 3 laps
9 DPi 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
France Simon Pagenaud
United States Dane Cameron
Acura DPi 339 9 laps
10 GTLM 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Patrick Pilet
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR 330 18 laps
11 GTLM 66 France Sébastien Bourdais
United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
Ford GT 330 18 laps
12 GTLM 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Corvette C7.R 330 18 laps
13 GTLM 24 United States John Edwards
Finland Jesse Krohn
Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M8 GTE 330 18 laps
14 GTLM 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
France Mathieu Jaminet
Porsche 911 RSR 330 18 laps
15 GTLM 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
New Zealand Scott Dixon
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Ford GT 330 18 laps
16 GTLM 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
United States Colton Herta
BMW M8 GTE 329 19 laps
17 LMP2 38 United States Kyle Masson
Canada Cameron Cassels
Andrew Evans
ORECA LMP2 322 26 laps
18 GTLM 4 Switzerland Marcel Fassler
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Corvette C7.R 321 27 laps
19 GTD 11 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Netherlands Rik Breukers
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 320 28 laps
20 GTD 44 United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
United States John Potter
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 320 28 laps
21 GTD 63 Finland Toni Vilander
United States Cooper MacNeil
Jeff Westphal
Ferrari 488 GT3 320 28 laps
22 GTD 29 Canada Daniel Morad
Germany Christopher Mies
Switzerland Richard Feller
Audi R8 LMS GT3 320 28 laps
23 GTD 33 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 
United States Ben Keating
Felipe Fraga
Mercedes-AMG GT3 320 28 laps
24 GTD 73 United States Patrick Long
United States Patrick Lindsey
United States Nicholas Boulle
Porsche 911 GT3 R 320 28 laps
25 GTD 86 United States Justin Marks
Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Trent Hindman
Acura NSX GT3 320 28 laps
26 GTD 57 United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Denmark Christina Nielsen
Brazil Ana Beatriz
Acura NSX GT3 320 28 laps
27 GTD 12 United States Townsend Bell
United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
Lexus RC F GT3 318 30 laps
28 GTD 9 Canada Scott Hargrove
Lars Kern
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Porsche 911 GT3 R 318 30 laps
29 GTD 71 Germany Fabian Schiller
Germany Maximilian Buhk
JC Perez
Mercedes-AMG GT3 315 33 laps
30 GTD 47 United States Brandon Gdovic
United States Lawson Aschenbach
United States Don Yount
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 311 37 laps
31 GTD 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
United States Dillon Machavern
BMW M6 GT3 309 39 laps
32 LMP2 52 United States Matt McMurry
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
France Gabriel Aubry
ORECA LMP2 309 39 laps
33 DPi 50 Austria Rene Binder
Will Owen
Agustin Canapino
Cadillac DPi 305 43 laps
34 GTD 8 United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
United States Parker Chase
Argentina Ezequiel Perez Companc
Audi R8 LMS GT3 292 56 laps
35 GTD 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
Switzerland Philipp Frommenwiler
Richard Heistand
Lexus RC F GT3 262 86 laps
36 GTD 48 United States Corey Lewis
United States Bryan Sellers
United States Ryan Hardwick
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 249 99 laps
37 DPi 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Germany Timo Bernhard
United States Tristan Nunez
Mazda DPi 233 115 laps
38 GTD 19 United States Andrew Davis
United States Will Hardeman
Spain Alex Riberas
Audi R8 LMS GT3 174 174 laps
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About this article

Series IMSA
Event Sebring
Drivers Pipo Derani , Eric Curran , Felipe Nasr
Teams Action Express Racing
Author Jamie Klein
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