The 2021 season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship kicked off with a great Daytona 24 Hours race and has now followed a great Sebring 12 Hours race that was competitive until the last minute.
Pipo Derani (BRA, Cadillac Whelen 31) started from pole but that didn’t do much for him. Renger van der Zande (NED, Cadillac Ganassi 01) took first place. Derani tried to pass him again after 46 minutes of the race but van der Zande dodged a GT car and sent Derani to the wall, ending the Brazilian’s aspirations: he came back three laps behind.
Another car that soon got into trouble was the Ally Cadillac 48. Multiple NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson (USA) spun early and crashed. He soon passed the command over to former Indy 500 Champion Simon Pagenaud (FRA).
The third full-course yellow flag went out when Franck Perera (FRA, Lamborghini GRT 19) lost his brakes and hit Billy Johnson (USA, Mercedes Alegra 28) directly.
At hour 7 Dane Cameron (USA, Meyer-Shank 60) made a mistake in braking and directly hit Jonathan Bomarito (USA, Mazda 55), for which he was penalized with a “drive through”.
Car 31 continued in trouble, again with a Brazilian on board: Felipe Nasr hit the Mustang Sampling / JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac 5 driven by Loïc Duval (FRA), Sébastien Bourdais (FRA) and Tristan Vautier (FRA). He was also penalized.
Tim Buret (FRA, Tower 8 P3) had a huge cold tire accident. He went straight to the tires, flipped over completely, and fell back on the tires.
The ending was very exciting. The French-driven Cadillac 5 managed to withstand the onslaught of Harry Tincknell (ENG, Mazda 55, partner of Jarvis (ENG) and Bomarito), who in turn was pressured by Kamui Kobayashi (JPN, teammate of Johnson and Pagenaud) in 48 but the positions would stay like that until the end …
Although after the end it was decreed that car 48 had violated the rules regarding driving time and was disqualified, so the 60 of Dane Cameron (USA), Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) and Olivier Pla (FRA) was promoted to third place.
The LMP2 category was won by the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports 52 of Scott Huffaker (USA), Ben Keating (USA) and Mikkel Jensen (DNK). GTLM was won by the WeatherTech Racing Porsche 79 of Matt Campbell (AUS), Cooper MacNeil (USA) and Mathieu Jaminet (FRA).
In the LMP3, Colin Braun (USA), George Kurtz (USA) and Jon Bennett (USA) won in the Core Autosport 54.
Finally the GTD was won by Laurens Vanthoor (BEL), Lars Korn (DEU) and Zacharie Robichon (CAN).
The next race of the season will be in Mid-Ohio (USA), in May.