The second race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season (second round of the North American Endurance Cup) extended a 66-year tradition as Sebring International Raceway played host for the annual 12 Hours of Sebring. Perfect conditions saw the race run at a frantic pace in the opening stages before being slowed by a series of caution periods in the second half of the event. As darkness fell, the final two hours of the race featured a sprint to the finish with Ferrari once again well figuring in the final results.
GT-Daytona. For the third year in a row, the Ferrari 488 GT3 emerged from a tough Sebring 12 Hours with a podium finish. The No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488GT3 of Cooper MacNeil, Alessandro Balzan, and Gunnar Jeannette came home second in GT-Daytona. The trio ran in the top ten for much of the day but made steady progress towards the front as the track cooled following another dramatic Sebring sunset. A decisive move in turn 17 by 2016 race winner Balzan moved him into third before making one final pass for position in the closing laps to come home second at the checkered flag. Winning was the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini with Sellers-Lewis-Snow.
Team effort. “The team spent all the free practices preparing to have a good car for the night,” said Balzan. “It was a bit tricky with the balance in the day, but Cooper (MacNeil) and Gunner (Jennette) did an amazing job. A win and two podiums in the last three years with the Ferrari, it is a great feeling. This is a total team effort and I am really proud of this entire No. 63 WeatherTech Racing team. The car felt so good. It is so cool to race this Ferrari at Sebring, it is just amazing.” The pole-winning No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 suffered a tire puncture on the first lap, but fought back to race to 12th at the finish. No luck at all for the No. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari that was involved in an accident in the first part of the race.
GT-LeMans. The driving trio of Toni Vilander, James Calado, and Alessandro Pier Guidi led several extended segments of the race in the the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE. Despite the strong pace, the team fought to score a fifth place finish at the end, matching the result the team scored in the season-opening 24 Hours of Daytona. The race was won by the Porsche of Tandy-Pilet-Makowiecki.