Tudor USCC: 12 Hours of Sebring GTD race report
Porsche’s GTLM-class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring may have grabbed the headlines, but a Porsche 911 could be found atop the GTD podium too come Saturday night after Magnus Racing clinched victory in the famous American endurance race.
The #44 Porsche 911 GT America of Andy Lally, John Potter, and Marco Seefried spent much of the 12-hour race running near the front after qualifying tenth but it was only in the final hour that victory became a very real possibility.
Just before the race-deciding full-course caution period was called, Lally was ordered to the pitlane for one last pitstop. Like the Porsche North America Racing squad, this timing would prove decisive in the battle for victory.
The Magnus Racing crew got the 911 GT America back out quickly and, as the rest of the teams cycled through their necessary pitstops, the #44 machine found itself out in front of the previous leader, the #555 Ferrari.
This decisive move was all that was needed to propel the Magnus Racing Porsche to victory lane as Lally held on to win by just under two seconds from the #555 Ferrari, and the #23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America.
The latter had qualified sixth and had been a fixture near the front of the GTD field for much of the race with Ian James, Mario Farnbacher, and Porsche Junior, Alex Riberas at the helm.
The sister Alex Job Racing entry of Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen, and Phillip Frommenwiler finished just a few seconds off the podium after being handed an 80-second stop-go penalty for an incident that it later turned out did not involve the car in anyway.
With the close nature of the GTD field, the #22 entry did well to recover to fourth as the top six GTD-class finishers crossed the line within 17 seconds of the winner after 12 hours of action-packed racing.
The next round of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship sees the premier American series head to Long Beach on 11-12 April. However, the GTD paddock will not be in attendance as they rejoin the championship at Laguna Seca in May.