Action Express Racing’s Jack Aitken took the lead with 19 minutes to go Saturday night (March 18) when Wayne Taylor Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque and Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Mathieu Jaminet had contact on the run to turn 3. That contact resulted in a crash that collected Albuquerque, Jaminet, and Jaminet’s teammate Felipe Nasr, the top three drivers at the time. Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Risi Competizione’s Daniel Serra were also involved.
Aitken was then able to hold off BMW M Team RLL’s Nick Yelloly to win the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring along with teammates Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims. It is Action Express’ third 12 Hours of Sebring victory.
Action Express Racing’s margin of victory was 2.94 seconds over Yelloly, Connor de Phillippi and Sheldon van der Linde. They were the only two GTP cars to finish the race. Jaminet, Dane Cameron and Nick Tandy in the Porsche No. 6 were credited with third, then the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura of Albuquerque, Louis Deletraz and Ricky Taylor. The No. 7 Porsche of Nasr, Matt Campbell and Michael Christensen were credited with fifth.
Derani led the 53-car field to green and almost immediately ended up in a battle for the overall lead with Ricky Taylor. After an early yellow, Derani was able to pull out a decent advantage. Meanwhile, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais was able to get past Taylor to retake second.
The first round of stops ultimately swung the race significantly. A slow pit stop for Derani despite not taking tires allowed Bourdais to take the lead. He was able to pull away as Derani began to struggle on his worn tires.
Derani had dropped down the order significantly before Performance Tech Motorsports’ Robert Mau spun in front of him in turn 13. Derani had nowhere to go but directly into Mau.
The contact broke the nose, locked up the left front wheel and deposited Derani in the dirt. He was able to continue and keep himself on the lead lap, but ended up having to take emergency service in order to replace the nose after shedding bodywork.
Saturday ended up being quite the day for Mau. Later on, he was slow on track with a little over five hours remaining, causing a full course yellow. During the caution period, after apparently regaining power, Mau drove up through the field as if he were being waved back around and collided into the rear of Cameron’s No. 6 Porsche.
Both cars were damaged, but…
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