IMSA: Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring 9-hour update – 3 hours left to go, action heating up


With nine hours complete, there are three hours left in the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race at Sebring Raceway in central Florida.

The event has picked up in terms of harder racing, increased contact and a number of drivers either knocked out or are lagging behind by several laps.

Just minutes into the start of the second half of the race, Team Penske saw one of its two cars suffer a premature end to its day.

Team Penske was riding high in the fourth hour of the race, with Helio Castroneves checking out on the rest of the field.

But as the second half began, Ricky Taylor suffered a race-ending oil pressure issue that ended the day for the No. 7 Acura DPI.

With 5 hours, 14 minutes to go, Prototype leader Harry Tincknell in the No. 55 Mazda DPI pitted for fuel and service, then stalled several times while he was trying to exit his pit stall, before finally getting going.

With just under five hours, Juan Pablo Montoya spun the Team Penske Acura No. 6 in Turn 17 but was able to get going again.

But something apparently broke on the car in that spin as Montoya limped the car to the pits and the damage was enough to end its day, as well, ending any Penske hopes for a decent finish in the second half of the event.

Shortly after, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPI came into the pits to have its front end replaced.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylo Racing Konica Minolta Cadillac DPI made contact with another car that damaged its rear wing, bringing out the caution.

But the team chose to keep the car on the track for one lap after the restart before bringing it in for repairs, replacing the wing and deck, all in one minute, five seconds.

With 4:26 left, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPI made contact with the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports LMP2, with the No. 5 suffering front end damage that needed to be repaired in the pits.

With about 3 hours, 50 minutes to go, the Porsche 912 GT team suffered major rear end damage that required a full pit stop to replace the rear wing, diffuser, bumper, all four tires and more. But the team did an outstanding job, repairing the damage in less than five minutes.

Here’s how the three classes look with thee hours to go:


Jonathan Bomarito (No. 55 Mazda DPI), holds the lead, followed by Mike Conway (No. 31 Cadillac DPI), Nicolas LaPierre (No. 22 Nissan DPI), Matthew McMurry (No. 90 Cadillac DPI) and Alex Brundle (No. 32 Ligier LMP2).

GT Le Mans (GTLM)

Frederic Makowiecki (No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR) has the lead, followed by James Calado (No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE), Tommy Milner (No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R), Giamaria Bruni (No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR) and Bill Auberlen (No. 25 BMW M8 GTLM).

GT Daytona (GTD)

At the front of the pack is Lawson Aschenbach (No. 93 Acura NSX GT3), followed by Madison Snow (No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3), Trent Hindman (No. 86 Acura NSX GT3), Jergen Bleekemolen (No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3) and Alessandro Balzam (No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3).

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Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing

Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.