The Alley

ESM win 36 hours of Florida

esm_podiumBacking up their stunning win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Patrón Racing ESM backed that up with another victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Pipo Derani again the star of the show.

sebring_gal1_race_16_16At the final restart with 12 minutes remaining Brazilian Derani was in fourth place as the green flag was waved. He quickly moved past the Oreca of Nicolas Lapierre to grab third and launched an assault on the two Action Express Racing Corvettes.

On consecutive laps entering the turn seven hairpin, he made daring moves up the inside of Felipe Albuquerque and Dane Cameron to clinch the lead.

Cameron initially blocked the inside of the corner before moving back to take the fastest line through the turn – he left just enough space for Derani to make a daring late dive to steal the lead.

Cameron and Albuquerque held on to take the final stops on the podim.

“We had to change tires, and suddenly we see ourselves in 4th or 5th postion in the end, and then I thought maybe we could get two or three more positions in the end, but I had a really great car so I made all my moves,” Derani said.

“Those guys really raced hard, and they raced really fair. We were able to push there at the end and make up the positions, and the other drivers made it really good. But the team around me, without all of them it wouldn’t have been possible.

“It’s kind of surreal to be honest, and I was telling these guys we did it, those 2 big races in the same year. Hopefully in a few days, like Daytona, I’ll realize what we achieved. It’s crazy that back in Fuji when we had our deal, that we’d be here now winning Daytona and Sebring in the same year.

“It’s been a great year, and I’m so happy to have a chance to be a part of this team.”

_RD47025The victory was the second in succession for ESM’s Scott Sharp, Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek – Derani also completed a stunning final stint to earn the team’s first enduro victory in January with their Honda/HPD-powered Ligier.

The No. 2 Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 is the first team to sweep Daytona and Sebring since Doran-Moretti Racing last accomplished the feat in 1998 in a Ferrari 333SP. Wayne Taylor and Jim Pace also accomplished that fete in 1996 co-driving a Riley and Scott Oldsmobile, with Sharp sharing that car in the Rolex 24 victory.

Victory in the PC class today went to the CORE autosport squad – their third victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Colin Braun combined with team owner Jon Bennett and Mark Wilkins to lead home the combination of Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon and Jose Gutierrez.

Competition in today’s race was halted for a two-hour, 15-minute, nine-second red flag period called due to lightning and track conditions. After running under yellow as track drying continued, the race went back to green with six-hours, 31-minutes remaining.

This was the seventh time the Sebring event has been impacted by rain in its 64-year history, and first time since 1997. It was the fifth time the Twelve Hours has been red flagged. The race was stopped in 1993 and 1995 for rain, and 1997 and 2014 for on-track incidents.

 

12 Hours of Sebring Results

The Alley : Trackside. Insight. Online.

Share This Post On