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Sebring Always Puts on a Show

Photo by Richard Prince for Corvette Racing

Both Corvette Racing and Cadillac Racing put in dominant performances during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this past weekend. The GTD-modified Corvette C8.R was able to claim GTD Pro class honors following a difficult start to the season in Daytona. Cadillac Racing put on a thrilling show with a podium lockout and some absolutely stellar racing for the lead once the sun went down.

The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD piloted by Antonio Garcia, Nicky Catsburg, and Jordan Taylor took victory by 4.4 seconds ahead of R3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. It was Corvette’s first win competing against GT3-spec cars in IMSA’s new GTD Pro class. Following the C8.R’s dismal performance in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, and continued struggles during practice at Sebring, IMSA modified the Balance of Performance allowing the Corvette to run with 20 extra horsepower.

The 20 new horses we’re promptly put to work, just check out Catsburg’s incredible work wrestling the lead away from the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. The win would be Corvette Racing’s 12th class victory in the annual 12-hour race. Post-race, both Lamborghini and BMW voiced their displeasure at not being able to hang with the bad fast yellow Corvette.

Meanwhile, at the front of the field, the battle was fierce between no less than four of the Cadillac Racing DPi-V.Rs entered in the race. Cars from Action Express, JDC-Miller Motorsport, and Chip Ganassi Racing would all hold the lead for large chunks of the event, often fighting fiercely with each other for supremacy in Florida. Victory would ultimately go to Chip Ganassi Racing’s No.02 Cadillac at the hands of ex-Porsche factory man, Earl Bamber, along with co-drivers Neel Jani, and Alex Lynn. Jani was a late substitute for Kevin Magnussen, who skipped town to run the Haas VF-22 Formula 1 car in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Bamber crossed the line 6.4 seconds ahead of the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac shared by Tristan Vautier, Richard Westbrook, and Loic Duval. The two cars swapped places twice in the final hour of the race following a drive-through penalty for Bamber, followed by a mild spin for the No.02 Cadillac immediately after regaining the lead.

The No.48 Ally-sponsored Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R looked like the car to beat for most of the day until an exploded front-left brake disc took them out of contention with just two hours remaining. That ended up handing the final place on the podium to the team’s sister car, the No.31 Whelen-branded Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R.

The next IMSA race for Corvette Racing and Cadillac Racing won’t be until the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach which will take place from April 8 to April 10.

Written by Michael Accardi

Michael refuses to sit still, he's held multiple hands-on automotive jobs throughout his career. Along with being an investigative writer and accomplished photographer, Michael works for several motorsports organizations.

He was part of the Ford GT program at Multimatic, oversaw a fleet of Audi TCR race cars, has ziptied Lamborghini Super Trofeo cars back together, been over the wall in the Rolex 24, and worked in the cut-throat world of IndyCar.

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