Wayne Taylor Racing—a team beloved by sports car fans for zany off-track antics, but known to everyone else for taking on NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon as a teammate for Daytona—just won the combined 36 Hours of Florida, topping off a 24 Hours of Daytona win with a 12 Hours of Sebring win tonight.
The 12 Hours of Sebring is notorious for being one of the most grueling, bumpy race tracks in existence, and much of the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s cars seemed to revolt this year. Many had left front tire and suspension problems. Others had starter problems, fires, and worse.
Nine cars in the 46-car field retired by the end of the race for assorted issues, including both Nissan DPis fielded by last year’s winners Extreme Speed Motorsports. Pole sitters Rebellion Racing were also taken out of contention by mechanical woes, although they did finish 181 laps down from the overall winners.
The now Gordon-less Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi made their final pit stop earlier than the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing car, which allowed the No. 10 to pass the No. 5 while it was in the pits for the win. With mere seconds separating the two, No. 10 driver Ricky Taylor stretched his lead in the closing minutes to make sure the No. 5 didn’t have a chance for the overall and Prototype-class win.
One good dive down the inside of the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari by Jeroen Bleekemoelen in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the last hour sealed the class win in GTD.
It was the third space on the GTD podium that was the most insane to watch. On the very last lap, Tristan Vautier of the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 that had to start from the very back of the field due to a pre-race fuel leak made a pass around the No. 29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 for third place.
In GTLM, the front-running No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR made a painful mistake in the last hour, running over an air hose after swapping a punctured left front tire. Because of the extra time in the pits and the drive-through penalty for running over the hose, the No. 3 Corvette slid on through to take the class win. Right behind the No. 3 was the No. 66 Ford GT. Finishing in third was Risi Competizione’s No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE. Risi driver James Calado made an insane last-lap pass around the No. 67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook for third place on the very last lap.
PC was the only class with little drama, as the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports car cruised home relatively unchallenged at the end. Only four cars raced in PC, as it’s the last year those cars will run. Like Wayne Taylor Racing, the No. 38 also won their class at the 24 Hours of Daytona this year.
On top of all that, we got to see a satellite get launched into orbit during the race. What more could you ask for?
Full results can be found at results.imsa.com. Did your favorite car survive, or did it fall victim to the sticky swamp funk of bad Sebring luck?