The 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring is now halfway complete. A few news and notes as the race has evolved:
AUDI SWEEP IS OUT – On pure pace, Audi was able to place its three R18 TDIs in the top three positions. The race won't end that way. The No. 1 Audi, with defending Le Mans 24 Hours champions Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler, went behind the wall just prior to halfway with apparent electrical issues. That opened the final podium position for a non-diesel car, first taken by Rebellion Racing in its 2011-spec Lola Toyota coupe and driver Nick Heidfeld.
That car stopped per a small fire and needed to take on oil, but it was quickly extinguished. As it fell to fifth overall, two HPD ARX-03a's were well-placed to move into contention for that spot. Those two are the Muscle Milk and JRM entries, driven at present by ex-Highcroft teammates Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham, respectively.
HPD, NISSAN BATTLE IN P2 – HPD is also in a good position in LMP2, with a WEC and an ALMS HPD ARX-03b apiece in contention for the class lead. American entrants Starworks Motorsport is looking strong in its WEC debut with drivers Stephane Sarrazin, Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio, while the rebuilt No. 055 Level 5 car with Christophe Bouchut, Joao Barbosa and Scott Tucker are in the running. The Oreca Nissan fielded by Pecom Racing, Zytek Nissan run by Greaves Motorsport and OAK's class polesitting Morgan Judd are also strong runners.
PC WITH CORE AHEAD – CORE autosport has gotten ahead in the PC category by a full lap, ahead of the PR1/Mathiasen entry, Merchant Services No. 7, Muscle Milk No. 5 and CORE No. 05. E.J. Viso has been aboard the leading No. 06 CORE car, and co-drives with Alex Popow and Burt Frisselle.
GT IN FLUX – Ferrari has had most of the problems but hasn't been officially eliminated from contention. Its No. 71 AF Corse 458 is still running in the top five, battling the two factory Corvettes, the No. 77 Felbermayr Porsche and No. 155 (per two prior conflicts) RLL BMW. The factory Aston Martin is also still running, and had a brief period in the lead.
Larbre Competition moved ahead in GTE Am, with its two cars first and third at the six-hour mark, and splitting the No. 88 Felbermayr Porsche. Krohn Racing was leading in class but fell down the order prior to the six-hour mark. Alex Job's No. 023 Porsche led GTC at the six-hour mark.
RACE PACE – Through half distance, the race had five yellow flags, with minimal incidents and many more close calls.