SEBRING, Fla. – official series release — TUDOR United SportsCar Championship photo —
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chevrolet’s lone triumph in the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais teamed in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette DP to make new history for the Bow Tie Brigade.
Jim Hall II opened the day by running exhibition laps in the Chaparral 2 his father and Hap Sharp drove to victory in the 1965 event. The Action Express trio then took over, teaming for a dominant victory, becoming the first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship team to lap the field. They led 246 of the 340 circuits, including every lap after Barbosa passed Scott Dixon to take the lead at the seven-hour mark.
Action Express Racing has also completed every possible lap in TUDOR Championship competition, totaling 3,257 laps for 10,415 miles. It was the fifth Prototype (P) victory for defending champions Fittipaldi and Barbosa.
Corvette DPs swept the podium. Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller took second in the No. 90 VisitFlorida,com Corvette DP, followed by Max Angelelli and brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. Scott Pruett, Joey Hand and Dixon placed fourth in the 2014 race-winning Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley.
The race was slowed by only six caution periods for one hour, 58 minutes under the yellow, including a green-flag run of nearly four hours midway through the event.
The roles were reversed from the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the Prototype Challenge class. While PR1/Mathiasen spent most of the season-opening event chasing CORE autosport – pulling out the victory when misfortune struck their rival in the closing minutes – Sebring saw the team dominate the event.
Tom Kimber-Smith, Mike Guasch and Andrew Palmer powered the No. 52 Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA FLM09 to its second straight victory, leading 237 of 334 laps.
The No. 54 CORE autosport Flex-Box ORECA FLM09 trio of Colin Braun, Jon Bennett and James Gue was looking to repeat as winners at Sebring. Braun closed to within a second of Kimber-Smith during the final hour, but the British driver was able to regain momentum and win by 11.614 seconds.
Late addition Conor Daly joined Jerome Mee and James French in rounding out the PC podium in the Performance Tech Motorsports No. 38 Ric Man Construction/GO PUCK ORECA FLM09.