March 19, 2017
The 65th running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring is now complete, a fine chapter to add to the storied history of this fabled race circuit and endurance race.
Rebellion Racing started from the pole, but faded and most of the other DPi cars had issues as well. The race ended up being a Cadillac 1-2-3 sweep of the podium, with the Rolex 24 at Daytona team of Wayne Taylor Konica Minolta Racing taking a fine win.
Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Alex Lynn combined for 348 laps of the Sebring airport circuit, holding off the second place finishing Mustang Sampling Cadillac by just over thirteen and one half seconds. This race marked the second year in a row that the Rolex 24 at Daytona winning car also won the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, as last year the ESM Honda squad did the same thing. It was also historic as 21 years ago team owner Wayne Taylor accomplished the same feat, himself winning Daytona and Sebring in 1996. Success seems to run in the family.
In GTLM, it was a battle royal, with Ford and Corvette battling all day for top honors. The war was won by Corvette, as the #3 car of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller took the class win over the #66 Ford GT. This race marked the third Sebring win in a row for the Corvette squad and the balance of the season looks like it is going to be a continuation of the Corvette/Ford battle. So far, Ford has taken Daytona and now Corvette has taken Sebring.
In GTD, Riley Motorsports Team AMG Mercedes took top honors, finishing 8.667 seconds ahead of the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3. It was the first IMSA WeatherTech victory for Mercedes and likely not their last. The car was beautiful and ran strongly all day. As usual, the GTD class provided intense competition and any number of cars were in contention for the class win.
In LMPC, it was again a repeat performance by Performance Tech Motorsports as they took top honors, with the exact same car and drivers that won class at the Rolex 24. James French, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Masson combined for 338 laps in the race for the win and finished an outstanding fifth place overall.
The weather was perfect, the crowd was huge and the racing was superb. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is on a roll and the 2017 season is shaping up to be fantastic.
Next stop: the streets of Long Beach
Story by Eddie LePine and Jack Webster, Photos by Thomas Murray