Seven hours are down, five remain. Audi seems to have a dominant hold on the top spot overall, but both of their cars have some irregular wear and tear. In GT, it's as tight a battle as ever, with five separate manufacturers having lead in the first half of the race. The Pro-Am classes are producing great racing as well, even if the SPEED cameras aren't showing it. Ryan Eversley and I continue the live blog below.
(photo via Trevor Andrusko)
10:49 PM, 9146: It's still possible that Audi's #2 car will win after post-race inspection, but the #1 will celebrate either way. If the win is overturned, Jalopnik will bring you the news.
10:45 PM, 9146: Audi Sport Team Joest takes another 1-2 finish in the final 12 Hours of Sebring of the LMP1 era! In the most hotly contested class, Corvette Racing wins with it's #4 entry. LMPC has been taken by the #52 of PR1, GTC by the #22 of Alex Job Racing and LMP2 by the #551 of Level 5.
10:43 PM, 9146: The white flag is out for the #1 Audi.
10:38 PM, 9146: It's going to be close on fuel for the GT leaders! Both Ferrari and Corvette aren't entirely certain that either car can make it to the end on fuel.
10:31 PM, 9146: The #62 Ferrari has another big off and the #4 Corvette has moved into the GT lead with 14 minutes to go!
10:30 PM, 9146: The #62 had an off! The gap in GT is just one second!
10:29 PM, 9146: The gap from first to second overall has grown to 19.5 seconds, while the gap from first to second in GT has shrunk to 3.0 seconds.
10:17 PM, 9146: The #52 LMPC takes the lead in class from the #8 LMPC. The #4 Corvette and #62 Ferrari are together on track once again.
10:14 PM, 9146: Malucelli, in the #62 Ferrari, has less than 5 seconds on the #4 Corvete of Milner now in GT. The Ferrari just punted a GTC car, however, and the 60 second stop and hold for that might undo this battle.
10:12 PM, 9146: The lead change is done in GTC: Damien Faulkner, in the #66 of TRG, is passed by Spencer Pumpelley, in the #22 of AJR.
10:08 PM, 9146: There's still quite the battle for the win in GTC, GT, LMPC and LMP1 (though the last is between team mates). LMP2 appears to be the only decided class.
10:00 PM, 9146: Since puting Malucelli in the #62 during the last set of stops, the battle for the GT lead has closed from 20 seconds to 9 seconds.
9:54 PM, 9146: While I was distracted by smaller classes, I failed to notice that the team battle between the #1 and #2 Audis has closed to just two seconds. The #2 is coming fast and there is no team orders. It may get dicey up front, but don't expect it to until the final 5 laps, where an Audi 1-2 becomes guaranteed. The two cars have touched three times already!
9:50 PM, 9146: Both the #62 Ferrari and #4 Corvette pit. Both will be close on fuel, but it's worth noting that the #62 pitted one lap later.
9:34, 9146: Spencer "Big Sexy" Pumpelley takes second in GTC by passing Damien Faulkner while being lapped by LMPs!
9:11 PM, 9146: The #66 TRG has an issue with it's wheels on it's stop, and it will thus lose the GTC lead to the #22 of AJR!
9:06 PM, 9146: There's two leads being shaved at a rapid place, and they're both in GT! the #4 Corvette has cut it's gap to the #62 Ferrari from 2 minutes to 40 seconds, while Jeroen Bleekemolen has cut his gap to Damien Faulkner from 1 minute 30 seconds to just 30 seconds. Rain may be brewing for the last hour, as well...
9:02 PM,RE: LMPC is a Barn burner with all top 5 on the same lap, 1st, David Ostella leading in the #52 followed by Kyle Marcelli in the #8 and finally young Tristan Nunez #500 which celebrates 500 years of the discovery of Fla!
8:58 PM, RE: The Laptop comes back to life! Here's a quick rundown of top 3 in each class. LMP1 is Audi #1 leading followed by Audi #2 and then the Rebellion Lola #12 of Neel Jani LMP2 is #551 of Ryan Brisco leading over #552 of Simon Pagenaud, Followed by Tom Kimber Smith in the #41 Zytek.
8:49 PM, 9146: Sadly, it looks like we have another retirement: Ryan Eversley's laptop. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be on the own for the remainder of the event.
On Track, Olivier Beretta, in the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari, is racing a lap down #91 Viper, while his former team mate Oliver Gavin is trying to catch him in the #4 Corvette. Gavin is catching him, but he's nearly two minutes behind Beretta.
8:40 PM, 9146: All five of the leading LMPCs are on the same lap. That title is very much up for grabs.
8:25 PM, 9146: Closers are beginning to get into the leading cars now. This is going to be fun...
8:03 PM, 9146: The #91 Viper only went 3 laps down. A few cautions and it's back in this.
7:58 PM, 9146: The #31 NGT car has an engine issue from the lead. The GTC lead has been relinquished to the #66 TRG car of Craig Stanton.
7:50 PM, 9146: The second placed #91 Viper of Ryan Dalziel has a big issue and the car is behind the wall! This will all but certainly leave only four cars in serious contention for the GTE win: #62 Ferrari, #4 Corvette, #17 Porsche, #55 BMW.
7:45 PM, 9146: Sean Edwards has a small off in the #30, moving Kuba Giermaziak into P1 in GTC.
7:35 PM, 9146: And we're onto the web stream! On the SPEED network? 3 hours of preshow for Motocross.
7:23 PM, RE: Finally we have an @TheOrangeCone sighting at Sebring! Looked like Anthony Lazzaro might've taken him for a lap under the splitter!
7:21 PM, 9146: The SPEED broadcast goes off air in exactly 8 minutes, but it continues on SPEED2.com. Prepare accordingly.
7:17 PM, 9146: The formerly class leading #56 BMW is in the pits getting it's left-front suspension repaired. This lengthy stop will put that Z4 multiple laps down, but the #55 is still in it to win it.
7:14 PM, RE: Bryan Sellers is running down the BMW of M&M (Maxime Martin) for P2 in GT with Ryan Dalziel chasing Sellers in the Viper. Nice battle for the podium and great to see the Falken entry carry the flag for Porsche.
7:09 PM, RE: Craig Stanton who's one of the most athletic men in motorsports (He won a 24 hour Mtn Bike race with Andy Lally once) is running down the leaders in GTC and is currently P3! Great effort for the veteran.
7:04 PM, 9146: Two notes on Sean "lives in Monaco" Edwards: One, his dad (Guy Edwards) was the man who saved Niki Lauda's life after his infamous 1976 Nurburgring crash. Two, this:
He has skills.
7:00 PM, RE: This is what I was concerned about with Canache in the GTC car, Small mistakes and a tendency to drive to hard... 4 hours left brother just maintain! Flying Lizards currently P2 in GTC Behind Sean Edwards who lives in Monaco.
6:57 PM, 9146: Welcome back Ryan! Meanwhile, AJR's Ferrari in the garage:
6:54 PM, RE: Olly Gavin in the #4 is serving his drive thru Penalty that Westy apparently didn't know anything about. Meanwhile the Audi's have cleared the field and Fassler is on a charge for the lead! The Big Sexy leads in GTC!
6:42 PM, 9146: Richard Westbrook didn't know he had a penalty until the pit reporter asked him about it. He is, to say the least, not happy. Meanwhile, presumed GT leader in waiting SRT Racing has just taped up their side mirror, which will cost the #91 team a few positions.
6:37, 9146: Even the racing team known for being the best in the world at repairing cars quickly uses duct tape to fix their car. Audi Sport Team Joest is putting Bear Bond (a very strong, stiff brand of duct tape designed specifically for repairing race cars) on the bottom of the #1.
6:31, 9146: Sweedler is safely out of the car and headed into the medical car. Meanwhile, the penalty for that car's earlier contact has been assessed, and the #4 Corvette will in fact have to give up the GT lead.
6:28, 9146: HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE hit for the #23 Ferrari. the AJR car of Bill Sweedleer has HAMMERED the wall, moving it back a foot. The car is destroyed, but the firewall isn't breached and Sweedler seems okay. The hit came thanks to failure on the car. Full Course Caution, obviously.
6:21 PM, 9146: Westbrook spins the #23 Ferrari! The #4 Corvette will be getting a stop-and-sixty penalty any minute now. That will promote the #91 Viper to the top spot.
6:09 PM, 9146: The #8 LMPC of BAR1 Motorsports has a long stop, with new bodywork going on the front. Meanwhile, the Deltawing after it's issues:
6:03 PM, 9146: yet another issue for an ESM HPD, this time thanks to some contact from the #6 Muscle Milk car. This will likely be another penalty for the 6.
5:56, 9146: Another issue for Audi, but this one's fairly minor: Allan McNish's drinking straw broke! It's not a massive distraction, but it does indeed look strange on the onboard.
5:50, 9146: The Audi lead has officially grown to 3 laps. Meanwhile, Goosens and Westbrook are dueling for the GT lead. Corvette vs Viper, the great rivalry of the late 90s and early 2000s, is finally back.