2015 Sebring 12 Hours Updates

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7:30 p.m. ET: As the race nears its final three-hour stint, domination has been the story of the day in all classes.

It’s been Action Express Racing (P), PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports (PC), Porsche North America (GTLM) and either Riley Motorsports or Alex Job Racing (GTD) pretty much controlling the race as it’s developed.

Will they all hold on to win? Stay tuned.

5:00 p.m. ET: The race is past halfway, six hours down and six to go. IndyCar star Scott Dixon led at the halfway point, but the bigger story thus far is Action Express Racing hitting a major milestone of 10,000 consecutive miles completed since the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship began at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The No. 5 car has completed every lap of competition to date since that race.

Meanwhile in GTLM and GTD, the top seven cars are on the lead lap in both classes.

2:00 p.m. ET: The race is past the three-hour mark. Both of the LMP2-spec cars expecting to contend have fallen out of contention.

First off, Ozz Negri crashed in the second hour when he lost control of his No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda over the curbs at Turn 14. Negri was attempting to pass Bryan Sellers in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR but ran wide and then collected the barriers.

Secondly, Krohn Racing went behind the wall to make repairs, and got a new nose and new muffler on its No. 57 car. It’s cost the car five laps, but Pla, Krohn and Nic Jonsson press on.

Sebastien Bourdais has controlled the race in this phase in P and overall, with former Champ Car teammate Bruno Junqueira on top in PC, Nick Tandy leading GTLM and Ben Keating GTD past the three-hour mark.

12:00 p.m. ET: Past one hour into the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the race has resumed under green after an extended yellow to remove the stopped No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Olivier Pla led for the entirety of his first stint in the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd before pitting and handing off to Tracy Krohn. Ryan Dalziel assumed the lead on the pit sequence.

Other leaders at the one-hour mark included Conor Daly (PC), Joerg Bergmeister (GTLM) and Mario Farnbacher (GTD).

There wasn’t too much to report, other than this critter nugget:

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Formula One embrace the United States

Verstappen Perez United States
Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images

Last week, Red Bull Racing revealed their new car, the RB19, and a new relationship with US-based Ford Motors in a press event in New York City complete with drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Team Principle Christian Horner. They are the only Formula 1 team to launch in the United States, but even that small move of the needle reflects a major shift in the attitude of both F1’s management and their teams – and the extent to which the American audience has fully embraced the sport.

“It’s something fantastic and unique, for the sport to be able to break it into the U.S,” Perez told NBC Sports. “The market is huge and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone involved, for the drivers, for the team. It’s always a huge market.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Sergio Perez finished fourth in the Unites States Grand Prix, but he was first with the fans.  – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In 2023, Formula 1 will race three times in the United States and five times in North America. The Circuit of the Americas will host their 11th consecutive race in October before heading south to Mexico City. Miami returns for a second time in May on a temporary street course around the Hard Rock cafe and the third addition is in downtown Las Vegas in November.

With the Canadian Grand Prix on the schedule for June and the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, American fans are now in the ballpark of Europeans, who have eight events on the continent and one in England.

In 2022, Verstappen won every race in North America. He was kept from sweeping the hemisphere only by George Russell, who won in Brazil. That fact is less remarkable when one considers that Verstappen won 15 times in the season – nearly two-thirds of the races on the schedule.

By the time Formula arrived in Austin for Round 20 of 23, Verstappen had already wrapped up his second consecutive championship.

“Sometimes it can be hard to replicate the season, but I think it’s the same as with the car, right? You always try to improve it,” Verstappen told NBC Sports. “And I always look at the little details that even when you have had a good race, you could have done better. And then of course you also learn from the bad races. So we always try to look for these little improvements and general experience you gain year after year.

“You try to do better, but of course it also depends a lot on the package you have.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Max Verstappen United States Grand Prix win was one of 15 for the drivers and 17 for Red Bull.
(Gongora / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now Verstappen’s thoughts will inevitably turn to establishing a dynasty – and America will again play a pivotal role.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing,” Verstappen said.  “After the years in Formula One, when you have to be on top of your game and you gain a lot on your experience – in that sense nothing really can get to you anymore. Every year you just try to do the best you can. But a lot depends on the material around you. It’s always a bit of a guess. Start the season as fit as you can be and be well prepared. But if you don’t have the car, you’re not going to win the championship.”

Perez added two wins to Red Bull’s total, at Monaco and the Marina Bay Street course. With two of the US 2023 races on street courses, Perez hopes to close the gap on Verstappen and potentially be his principle rival for the championship.

“The strategy is clear; it is to maximize the potential of the car – and we believe we have a good car, but how good?,” Perez said “We don’t know what the competition is doing. We just give our best in building this car and we hope that it’s good enough to get us to win races.

“I think we have to work together as a team. At the same time. We both want to win the championship. It’s just having good compromise. The competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can get from each other.”

Formula One returns to the United States for Round 6 and the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.