We’re halfway through the 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring Raceway in central Florida.
Weather conditions have been perfect, with barely a cloud in the sky, although temperatures have started to climb from warm to borderline hot.
After the significant amount of action during the first three hours, things were somewhat subdued in the second three-hour segment as we head into the second half of the race.
Let’s get started with some of the highlights, follow class-by-class reports.
With about 7 hours, 42 minutes left in the race, the No. 66 Ford GTLM of Chip Ganassi Racing ran into trouble.
Dirk Mueller was behind the wheel when he was clipped on the right rear. A few moments later, the left rear tire blew out.
Somehow, the rear wing assembly also became dislodged on the right side, apparently from the initial contact, prompting Mueller to hit the pits to have the wing replaced.
The team worked on the car on pit road for close to 15 minutes before taking the car to the paddock for further repairs, or potentially retirement from the event.
On the restart, the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R in GTD spun with Christina Nielsen behind the wheel. Nielsen was able to get the car righted and resumed, running 13th in GTD and 34th overall.
Here’s how the three classes played out from the start of Hour 4 through the end of Hour 6, the halfway point of the event, which is slated to end at 10:40 p.m. ET.
Helio Castroneves checked out from the pack in the early stages of Hours 4 through 6 in the Team Penske No. 7 Acura DPI.
But by the end of the three-hour segment, Pipo Derani (No. 22 Nissan DPI) leads the pack, followed by Spencer Pigot (No. 55 Mazda DPI), Juab Pablo Montoya (No. 6 Acura DPI), Felipe Nasr (No. 31 Cadillac DPI) and Renger Van Der Zande (No. 10 Cadillac DPI).
About midway through the segment, the No. 32 Prototype of Alex Brundle spun and brought out a yellow flag when he temporarily could not get his car going.
He eventually did and rejoined the race, still in ninth among the 13 Prototypes.
The No. 10 Cadillac DPI has struggled for much of the last couple hours with water shooting out from behind the driver’s compartment, an indication that the car continues to overheat – not a good sign for the remaining six hours.
GT Le Mans (GTLM)
Connor De Phillippi in the No. 25 BMW M8 leads the GTLM class at the midway point.
Toni Vilander in the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE is second, followed by Nick Tandy (No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR), Laurens Vanthoor (No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR) and Scott Dixon (No. 67 Ford GT) in fifth place.
Luca Stolz (No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3) leads, followed by Corey Lewis (No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3), Gunmar Jeannette (No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3), Katherine Legge (No. 88 Acura NSX GT3) and Mario Farnbacher (No. 93 Acura NSX GT3).
Closing in on the end of the sixth hour, Dominik Baumann in the 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 had an unusual incident.
It’s unclear if he hit something or whether the hood popped up by itself, making it next to impossible for him to see.
Baumann continued on and then hit a sign on the side of the track, pushing the hood down enough where he could make it back to the pits for his team to put the hood back in place and he was back underway.
There also was a very strange incident during the second three-hour segment..
Just before the event reached the four-hour mark, an apparent wind gust lifted a small canopy used by fans over the fence and onto the run-off area by Turn 10.
The incident brought out a full-course yellow that lasted for about five minutes as track workers removed the canopy.
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