TUSCC: A look back at the Sebring 12 Hours



We take a look back at the second round of the United Sportscar Championship – the 12 Hours of Sebring with thanks to IMSA


Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chevrolet’s lone triumph in the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais teamed in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette DP to make new history for the Bow Tie Brigade.

Action Express Racing has also completed every possible lap in TUDOR Championship competition, totaling 3,257 laps for 10,415 miles. It was the fifth Prototype (P) victory for defending champions Fittipaldi and Barbosa.

Corvette DPs swept the podium. Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller took second in the No. 90 VisitFlorida,com Corvette DP, followed by Max Angelelli and brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. Scott Pruett, Joey Hand and Dixon placed fourth in the 2014 race-winning Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley.

The race was slowed by only six caution periods for one hour, 58 minutes under the yellow, including a green-flag run of nearly four hours midway through the event.

Christian Fittipaldi, Driver – No. 5 Action Express Mustang Sampling Corvette DP

Definitely, it’s very important for the team. The teamwork starts back at the shop. It doesn’t start on Friday morning. Basically it’s back at the shop. When we left Daytona, we didn’t have the pace on track, and we made a couple of mistakes in the pits. We went back to the shop and analyzed everything we did. I think it went quite well. It’s awesome man. To be able to complete every single lap out there is more than just us drivers, it’s the whole team. We’re always trying to improve no matter what we’re doing. If we don’t improve, we learn how to minimize our mistakes. If we do that, it will pay off at the end of the year.”

Joao Barbosa, Driver – No. 5 Action Express Mustang Sampling Corvette DP

“It was very special to check this one off the list. We couldn’t have done it without a flawless car. It’s pretty amazing what our guys are doing at the shop to give us this car. The car was consistent, it was still improving over the length of the race.”


Sebastien Bourdais, Driver – No. 5 Action Express Mustang Sampling Corvette DP

“This is a place that’s been pretty mean to me many times. I remember losing here with Peugeot when we got a puncture with just two hours to go. Winning in Prototype with a lap on the field – on pace – doesn’t happen very many times.”



The roles were reversed from the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the Prototype Challenge class. While PR1/Mathiasen spent most of the season-opening event chasing CORE autosport – pulling out the victory when misfortune struck their rival in the closing minutes – Sebring saw the team dominate the event.

Tom Kimber-Smith, Mike Guasch and Andrew Palmer powered the No. 52 Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA FLM09 to its second straight victory, leading 237 of 334 laps.

Mike Guasch, Owner/Driver – No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA FLM09

“We started at Daytona and won it. It was a tough race there. This one we came in a little more confidently. We don’t want to be overly confident, but we felt it was our race to lose. We were pretty much in control of it the entire race. It was tight, but it was our race to lose. My first stint was more than three hours, and I led quite a bit myself, which was really nice. We had no mechanical issues whatsoever. It worked a little better in the cooler weather, and in the evening, it just came alive. It was awesome.”

– See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/action-express-gives-chevrolet-first-mobil-1-twelve-hours-sebring-victory-50-years#sthash.8y5b3ICT.dpuf



Porsche’s misfortune was Corvette Racing’s gain Saturday night as a pair of mechanical issues in the final hour of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida propelled the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R to the GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory for the second consecutive race to open the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.

It was Corvette Racing’s ninth win at Sebring dating back to 2002 and completed a sweep for Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe at Florida’s two Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup classics: the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Running 1-2 with one hour remaining in the race, Porsche North America was looking at a potential double-podium before a pair of mechanical issues knocked its Porsche 911 RSRs out of contention.

First it was Frédéric Makowiecki who pitted the team’s No. 912 entry from the lead with one hour left. Issues with the left rear lug nut forced a second pit stop and then a brief stint in the paddock to repair the left rear upright. That misfortune handed the lead to the team’s No. 911 entry driven by Nick Tandy who shortly later slowed with a transmission issue.

The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 team of Pierre Kaffer, Giancarlo Fisichella and Andrea Bertolini finished second followed by the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR of Bryan Sellers, Wolf Henzler and Patrick Long.

Ryan Briscoe, Driver – No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R

“You couldn’t ask for a better start to the year. We came out with the new C7.Rs last year. We had the speed, but worked through some gremlins. The team has done a fantastic job with the cars. We’ve run the first 36 hours without a single problem. We’ve done all the pit stops with just fuel and tires and drivers. For that kind of preparation the team has done an amazing job and I’m thrilled to be a part of it all. I’ve got some real quality races on my plate this year. We’re off to a great start.”



A wild final 15 minutes gave Alex Job Racing its 10th class win at Sebring in the GT Daytona (GTD) with Ian James, Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas co-driving the No. 23 Team Seattle Porsche 911.

Leading with just 12 minutes to go, Farnbacher drove off course in Turn 10 handing the lead to the No. 33 TI Automotive/Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R of Jeroen Bleekemolen. Staring at a runner-up finish, Farnbacher suddenly found himself back in the lead when Bleekemolen pitted with five minutes remaining with an engine temperature issue.

Mario Farnbacher, Driver – No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America

“From 25 minutes to the end of the race, I lost the front brakes. I locked up once with no brakes on the front. I went off the track. I thought it was over. Then I saw the Viper on the back straight going slowly. At that moment I knew we were back in the lead, and I just had to save the car to the end.”


Ian James, Driver – No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America

“This (No.) 23 Alex Job team is so great. It’s a team where everyone is really working with each other. We might not be the fastest team out there, but the team worked hard. I’m so happy to be here and get another win. We were right on the pace in Daytona. We had a mechanical failure and couldn’t finish there. Last year, we always had the pace to compete and made some bad decisions as well. This year, we’ll do the same but work even harder.”

– See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/corvette-racing-wins-sebring-sweeps-florida-patr%C3%B3n-endurance-cup-classics#sthash.jpDJRX3e.dpuf


All materials are courtesy of IMSA PR