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No. 10 Acura Leads at Sebring through Yellow-Filled Middle Stage

The Marque Is Chasing Its First Overall Win in the Famous 12-Hour Race

By John Oreovicz

Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Unofficial Eight-Hour Results

SEBRING, Fla. – A series of full-course cautions for spins, minor accidents and on-track debris during the middle third of the 70th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts effectively reset the race, putting the leading contenders in all five classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on similar pit stop strategies and setting up a dramatic finish.

Catch the exciting conclusion live airing on USA Network, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App.

After the first third of the 12-hour endurance contest was interrupted just twice by caution flags, five yellows flew during the middle four hours. As far as the racers were concerned, the most significant came five and a half hours in when the No. 47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 in the GT Daytona (GTD) class driven by Georgio Sernagiotto brushed the Turn 1 wall and slowed on course.

When the pits opened, essentially the whole field stopped, meaning that the various fuel and tire strategies that had played out to that point were leveled and what amounted to a brand-new race got underway just prior to the symbolic six-hour “halfway” mark.

Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R was the overall race leader through the next stint, but a driver change (to Tristan Nunez) allowed the pair of Acura prototypes to jump ahead with quicker pit stops. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 driven by Ricky Taylor led the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura and pilot Tom Blomqvist.

The No. 10 maintained the lead through its next scheduled driver change, with Will Stevens holding the point over Richard Westbrook in the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac at the eight-hour mark of the race.

Acura, in its fourth year of Daytona Prototype international (DPi) competition, is in search of its first overall Sebring Twelve Hours victory.

The other prototype class leaders at the eight-hour mark were the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 in Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2); and the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 in Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3). The No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier, the reigning LMP3 winner, dropped several laps behind with a mechanical issue shortly before the eight-hour mark.

The GTD PRO category was particularly hard-fought, with an intense battle between Nicky Catsburg in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD holding the lead after eight hours over Nick Yelloly in BMW Team RLL’s No. 24 BMW M4 GT3, but with several others in close proximity.

The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, which triumphed in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, briefly took the GTD PRO lead with a bit more than 4-1/2 hours remaining. But Matthew Campbell was passed in rapid succession by Catsburg in the Corvette and Philipp Eng in the BMW, shortly before Eng handed the car over to Yelloly.

“Our new car is really on fire this weekend – it feels extremely good,” said Eng. “The Corvette is very quick. I had an intense battle with Nicky – very fair, but that’s how they always are.”

In GTD, the No. 70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3, with drivers Brendan Iribe, Ollie Millroy and Jordan Pepper, held the advantage through most of the race’s middle stages and led at the eight-hour mark over the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari.

The Twelve Hours of Sebring serves as the second of four races included in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, with separate points being awarded at designated junctures in the race. At Sebring, points are awarded at the four- and eight-hour marks and the race finish. The leader in each class earns five points at each juncture, four points for second place, three points for third and two points for all other competitors.

With Michelin Endurance Cup points from the Sebring eight-hour mark added to those earned at the Rolex 24, the unofficial class leaders were: a tie in DPi between the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 in DPi and the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi-V.R; a tie in LMP2 between the No. 29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA and No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA; the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 in LMP3; the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD in GTD PRO; and the No. 70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3 in GTD.