Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup Standings Tighten After First Segment At Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
Saturday, March 18, 2017

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DPi-V.R, which won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, now holds a slight, one-point lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup standings after the first of three four-hour points-paying segments in the 65th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

The No. 10 team, which was running in second place at the four-hour mark in the race with driver Ricky Taylor at the wheel, now has 22 points, one ahead of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, which parlayed its lead at the four-hour mark into the maximum five points available. Christian Fittipaldi was aboard the No. 5 machine at the 1/3 mark in the race. The No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Multimatic/Riley LM P2 car is third in the Patrón Endurance Cup Prototype standings.

The battle for GT Le Mans (GTLM) honors in the Patrón Endurance Cup now is deadlocked at 20 points apiece between the No. 911 Porsche GT Team and the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT program. The No. 911 entered the race as the class leaders in the Patrón Endurance Cup standings, but earned the minimum two points for its sixth-place position at four hours.

The No. 66 team, meanwhile, earned four points as driver Dirk Mueller was running second at the 1/3 mark, one position behind its team car, the No. 67 Ford GT driven by Ryan Briscoe, which moved into third in the standings, scoring five points for leading at four hours.

In the GT Daytona (GTD) class, the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 team that entered the race atop the Patrón Endurance Cup standings, saw its lead reduced to one point after four hours at Sebring. The No. 86 earned just two points through four hours and was running 16th in class with Ozz Negri in the cockpit.

Jeroen Bleekemolen led the GTD race at four hours in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3, moving that team to second in the Patrón Endurance Cup standings. The No. 86 leads with 16 points, with 15 for the No. 33 team and a three-way tie for third at 14 points apiece.

In Prototype Challenge (PC), the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09 maintained its perfect record in the Patrón Endurance Cup standings. The team led all four segments en route to its victory in the Rolex 24, and driver Patricio O’Ward held the top spot in class at the four-hour mark at Sebring. As a result, the No. 38 team has a commanding, eight-point lead, 25-17, over the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports entry that was running third at the four-hour mark with polesitter Gustavo Yacaman at the controls.

View full results via Al Kamel Systems at Results.IMSA.com.

NOTEBOOK

  • The No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 that qualified on the GTD pole with Tristan Vautier started the race from pit lane due to a fuel leak discovered as the team completed its prerace preparations. The car also served a pair of drive-through penalties – one late in the third hour of the race for its responsibility for an incident with the No. 18 DAC Motorsports Lamborghini Huracán, and a second one midway through the fourth hour for an incident with the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Audi R8 LMS. Boris Said was at the wheel of the No. 75 at the time of both incidents.
     
  • The No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT that Ryan Briscoe qualified on the GTLM pole also started the race from pit lane as the team encountered difficulties getting the engine started. The pit-lane start necessitated a drive-through penalty, but the team recovered and made it to the front of the GTLM field just past the two-hour mark in the race.
     
  • Mazda Motorsports driver Joel Miller went for a scary ride when his No. 70 Mazda DPi suffered a mechanical failure entering the high-speed Turn 17, making hard contact with the tire barrier. Miller was evaluated and released from the infield care center, and the No. 70 later returned to the race.
     
  • The Rolex 24 At Daytona podium-finishing No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Multimatic/Riley LM P2 ran in the top five for much of the opening quarter of the race, but went behind the wall with a throttle control issue. 

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