11 min read
18 Mar
  • Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Global secures victory in the 2024 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with the #40 Acura ARX-06
  • The race showcases intense battles and strategic maneuvers as teams vie for supremacy, with BMW M Team RLL narrowly missing the podium
  • Acura's Louis Delétraz, Jordan Taylor, and Colton Herta emerge as leaders in the drivers' championship standings
  • Sebring International Raceway, steeped in history and tradition, continues to captivate audiences with its thrilling racing action and enduring legacy in motorsport

In the heart of Florida's Sebring International Raceway, from March 13th to 16th, 2024, fans and enthusiasts witnessed the spectacle of the 72nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac. 

This endurance sports car race, a pivotal event in the 2024 IMSA SportsCar Championship and the Michelin Endurance Cup, tested drivers and machines over twelve grueling hours of competition. The four-day event was far from uneventful, and we’re happy to present you the highlights. 

See also: 

Le Mans Hypercars: 2024 In Focus 

The 12H of Sebring 2024 Entrants

The 12H of Sebring 2024 Entry list.

Photo credit: IMSA

The entry list for the 12 Hours of Sebring 2024 featured a diverse range of teams and drivers representing various manufacturers and classes. Notable teams such as Cadillac, Porsche, Acura, and more competed in different categories to showcase the competitive spirit of endurance racing. 

Here are some of the entrants to the 12 Hours of Sebring 2024 in the GTP category:

 1. Cadillac Racing  

  • Drivers: Renger van der Zande, Sébastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon

 2. Proton Competition  

  • Drivers: Gianmaria Bruni, Alessio Picariello, Julien Andlauer

 3. Porsche Penske Motorsports  

  • Drivers: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet, Frédéric Makowiecki

 4. Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti  

  • Drivers: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Brendon Hartley

 5. BMW M Team RLL  

  • Drivers: Jesse Krohn, Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus

 6. BMW M Team RLL  

  • Drivers: Connor de Phillippi, Nick Yelloly, Maxime Martin

 7. Whelen Engineering Cadillac Racing  

  • Drivers: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken, Tom Blomqvist

 8. Lamborghini Iron Lynx  

  • Drivers: Matteo Cairoli, Andrea Caldarelli, Romain Grosjean

 9. JDC-Miller  

  • Drivers: Tijmen van der Helm, Richard Westbrook, Phil Hanson

This is not an exhaustive list, as there were more entrants in the GTP, LMP2, GTD Pro, and GTD categories. For a complete list, you may want to refer to the official entry list provided by IMSA. 

The 2024 12H of Sebring Practice Sessions

2024 12H of Sebring Practice Sessions.

Photo credit: Sportscar365

Leading up to the main race, teams participated in three practice sessions scheduled on Thursday, 14th March, 2024, each lasting 90 minutes, to fine-tune their cars, test different setups, and familiarize themselves with the track conditions. 

These sessions are crucial for teams to gather data and optimize their performance for the long and grueling race ahead. We have some exciting highlights from the 12 Hours of Sebring 2024 practice sessions: 

In the initial session, Renger van der Zande secured victory in the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup at Sebring International Raceway, setting a blazing pace of 1 minute and 48.279 seconds in the No. 01 CGR Cadillac, outpacing Aitken's No. 31 WCR car. Nick Tandy's No. 6 Penske Porsche secured third, with WTR's Hartley and Delétraz following closely. Mikkel Jensen led LMP2, while Jack Hawksworth's No. 14 VasserSullivan Lexus ruled GTD Pro. Daniel Serra's No. 62 Risi Ferrari chased closely behind. 

In GTD, Thompson's No. 12 Vasser Sullivan car led the pack. Phil Hanson stunned fans with the JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 leading the GTP field in the second practice session, with Bourdais and Derani trailing in their respective cars. LMP2 was led by Burdon in Riley's No. 74 Oreca, while Hawksworth continued to shine in GTD Pro. Thompson maintained his dominance in GTD. 

The final session saw van der Zande maintaining his lead, followed by Farfus' No. 24 BMW. Albuquerque and Blomqvist secured third and fourth spots, respectively. Jensen led LMP2 once again, while Bamber's Corvette No. 4 dominated GTD Pro. Antonio Fuoco's No. 47 Cetilar Ferrari showcased impressive performance in the GTD category. 

The session faced three stoppages, with Braun's crash ending it prematurely. Notably, Mark Kvamme from IMSA is actively contributing to advancing driver brain health in racing. 

12H Sebring Qualifying Sessions 2024

12H Sebring Qualifying Sessions 2024.

Ferrari qualifies in GTD - Photo credit: Ferrari

The Sebring Qualifying sessions determine the starting grid for the race, with each team aiming to secure the best possible position. The intense competition during the qualifying sessions often leads to close gaps between the top contenders. 

In Friday's afternoon qualifying session, the excitement escalated as it was divided into three segments, each lasting 15 minutes. The GTP, LMP2, and GTD classes each had their dedicated session. According to the rules, every team had to nominate a driver to qualify their car, with the Pro-Am LMP2 class mandating a Bronze-rated driver for qualification. 

The starting order was determined by the fastest lap times of the competitors. IMSA meticulously arranged the grid, positioning the GTPs ahead of the LMP2, GTD Pro, and GTD cars, setting the stage for an exhilarating race ahead. 

12 Hours of Sebring 2024: Qualifying Teams Announced

12 Hours of Sebring 2024: Qualifying Teams Announced.

Porsche GTD Pro - Photo credit: IMSA

The anticipation for the 12 Hours of Sebring reached a fever pitch as the qualifying teams for the 2024 edition were officially announced. With a mix of seasoned veterans and up-and-coming talents, this year's race promised heightened excitement and fierce competition. 

The GTD Pro Class

 1. Paul Miller Racing (United States) - Madison Snow 

  • Madison Snow showcased exceptional skill with a lap time of 1:59.586, securing the top spot for Paul Miller Racing.

 2. Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports (United States) - Tommy Milner 

  • Tommy Milner put in a commendable performance, securing second place with a lap time of 1:59.786.

 3. Pfaff Motorsports (Canada) - Oliver Jarvis 

  • Oliver Jarvis represented Canada's Pfaff Motorsports, securing the fifth spot with a lap time of 1:59.883.

 4. Ford Multimatic Motorsports (Canada) - Mike Rockenfeller & Joey Hand 

  • The Ford Multimatic Motorsports team made a mark with both Mike Rockenfeller and Joey Hand securing positions in the GTD Pro class.

GTD Class

 1. Forte Racing (United States) - Loris Spinelli 

  • Italy's Loris Spinelli led Forte Racing to the top of the GTD class with a lap time of 1:59.797.

 2. Lone Star Racing (United States) - Scott Andrews 

  • Scott Andrews, hailing from Australia, showcased impressive driving skills for Lone Star Racing, securing the fourth position with a lap time of 1:59.865.

 3. Triarsi Competizione (United States) - Alessio Rovera 

  • Alessio Rovera represented Triarsi Competizione, securing the seventh position in the GTD class with a lap time of 2:00.334.

See also:

Abarth and Stellantis Motorsport Unveil The All-New Abarth 600e, The Most Powerful Abarth Yet 

Notable Entries

Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti (United States & Canada) - Kyle Marcelli & Gabby Chaves 

  • With drivers from both the United States and Canada, Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti as a team to watch out for in the GTD class.

 Iron Lynx (Italy) - Claudio Schiavoni 

  • Italy's Iron Lynx, led by Claudio Schiavoni, will represented the Italian racing prowess in the GTD Pro class.

The 12 Hours of Sebring Race 2024: Endurance And Drama

12 Hours of Sebring 2024 race.

Photo credit: Acura

The 12 Hours of Sebring is known for its unpredictable weather, rough track surface, and high-speed corners – a true test of endurance for both man and machine. Teams strategize to manage tire wear, fuel consumption, and driver rotations to stay competitive throughout the race until the checkered flag falls. 

A Narrow Podium Miss By BMW M Team RLL

BMW narrowly missed the poduim at 12H Sebring 2024.

In a gripping display of endurance racing at the Sebring International Raceway, the BMW M Team RLL showcased remarkable performance but narrowly missed securing a podium finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. 

The second race of the IMSA series witnessed intense battles and strategic maneuvers as teams vied for supremacy on the track. 

The #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, piloted by Connor De Phillippi, Nick Yelloly, and Maxime Martin, demonstrated consistency and speed, often leading the pack and maintaining a strong presence at the front. However, despite their valiant efforts, they ultimately crossed the finish line in fourth place, just shy of a podium finish. 

Their sister car, the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 driven by Philipp Eng, Jesse Krohn, and Augusto Farfus, faced adversity during the race, contending with a slow puncture and a damaged rear wing. Despite these setbacks, the team displayed resilience and determination, clawing their way back to finish in sixth position and secure valuable championship points. 

In the GTD-PRO class, Paul Miller Racing's #1 BMW M4 GT3, driven by Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers, and Neil Verhagen, put up a spirited fight, narrowly missing out on a podium finish and settling for fourth place. 

Similarly, Turner Motorsport's #96 BMW M4 GT3, manned by Robby Foley, Patrick Gallagher, and Jake Walker, claimed sixth place in the GTD category after leading their classes for significant portions of the race. 

See also:

BMW Says It Will Build 50 More Examples Of The Track Champion M4 GT4, Including An EVO Model 

12 Hours of Sebring 2024 Winner: Acura's #40 Acura ARX-06

12 Hours of Sebring 2024 Winner.

#40 Acura ARX-06 - Photo credit: Acura

The triumphant victory of Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Global in the 2024 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring marked a thrilling conclusion to an epic endurance battle. 

The #40 Acura ARX-06, piloted by Louis Deletraz, Jordan Taylor, and Colton Herta, staged a remarkable comeback, culminating in a late-race pass that secured them the top spot on the podium. Despite starting third, the #40 crew demonstrated grit and skill by leading just 18 laps en route to their victory. 

Deletraz's lightning-fast lap time of 1:49.497 in the IMSA GTP class further solidified their dominance on the track. With this win, Acura propelled itself into a three-way tie for the IMSA GTP Manufacturers' Championship, while the drivers—Deletraz, Taylor, and Herta—find themselves tied for first place in the drivers' title chase. 

However, the race was not without its challenges. The sister #10 Acura ARX-06, driven by Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, and Brendon Hartley, led for a substantial portion of the race before encountering issues in the pit lane, resulting in a fifth-place finish. 

The #66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo 22, manned by Tatiana Calderon, Katherine Legge, and Sheena Monk, appeared destined for a strong finish in the GTD class. Unfortunately, contact with another car sent Legge's Acura careening into the Turn 17 wall, prematurely ending Gradient Racing's bid for victory. 

As the dust settled on the Sebring International Raceway, the Acura ARX-06 emerged as the ultimate victor, while Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Global celebrated a well-deserved triumph. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring delivered yet another spectacle of high-speed drama and adrenaline-fueled action, setting the stage for an electrifying season ahead. 

2024 Sebring 12H Post-Race Comments

2024 Sebring 12H Post-Race Comments.

Photo credit: BMW

After the grueling 12-hour battle on the track, teams and drivers reflect on their performance, celebrate their achievements, and analyze areas for improvement. The post-race activities include podium celebrations, interviews, and technical debriefs to review the race and plan for future events. 

BMW M’s Head of Motorsport Andreas Roos had this to say:  

The 12 Hours of Sebring were exciting until the end. The places were only decided in the last hour. Our BMW M Hybrid V8 showed during the race that its pace is good. In the end, we were a bit unlucky with the timing of one of the last yellow phases, as it allowed some competitors to come back into the fight for the lead. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for a podium in the end, but it's good to see that our hard work since Daytona has paid off and we were able to significantly improve both the performance and the reliability of the cars. For that, I thank everyone at BMW M Motorsport and the BMW M Team RLL. In the GTD categories, the BMW M4 GT3 has shown that it can compete for the win here. Overall, we have proven in all classes that the performance is fundamentally right. With a bit more racing luck, we hope to convert that into podium places.” 

The team’s Principal Bobby Rahal think they were lucky to even finish second in the 2023 race. 

“Last year we were very lucky and finished second,” said Rahal. This time our cars were much stronger, but with a bit less luck, we finished fourth and sixth. That's okay, but not yet where we want to be. The team's pit stops were good, the cars were reliable, but of course, we can still improve a bit more with a view to the next races.” 

Maxime Martin, who finished 4th place astride the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8,  thinks the narrow miss was a misfortune. 

“We showed good potential, but unfortunately didn't quite make it to the podium. We had a clean race, and it's of course annoying to be the first crew not on the podium. My first Sebring race in the top category was a great experience. It feels good to be able to fight for the overall win in such a race. The track is tough, but I had a lot of fun.” 

On the other side, the 12H Sebring 2024 race winner Louis Delétraz appeared as stunned as the spectators. 

Photo credit: Acura

"I can't believe it,” he says. “It was a long [final] hour, to be honest. I caught Sebastien [Bourdais, race leader], but we all know he is a hard racer and I didn't want to take too much of a risk initially. But at the end, I had to send it because it was now or never. I saw a gap and went for it. We had a few contacts, but we won, and that's what matters. We really wanted to win this. It means a lot to the team. Colton [Herta, co-driver] and Jordan [Taylor, co-driver] both were amazing. The car was perfect, our pit stops were excellent, everything was perfect." 

To Colton Herta, "To win this race, and to win it overall, is just incredible,” and Tatiana Calderon who placed 17th in GTD “feels more and more confident inside the Acura NSX GT3 Evo.” 

David Salters (President, HRC US) on this weekend's Acura victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring thanked the “efforts of our marvelous team of people at HRC US, ORECA and WTRAndretti; brilliant drivers and brilliant teamwork, we won Sebring. That's a biggie." 

See also: 

$1.6 Million For This Pile Of Scrap? It’s A Ferrari 500 Mondial, That’s Why! 

Looking Back – Sebring International Raceway: A Timeless Icon of Motorsport

History of Sebring International Raceway.

Photo credit: BMW

Since its inception in 1950, Sebring International Raceway has blended American ingenuity with the grandeur of European Grand Prix racing in the adrenalin-fueled world of motorsport. Built on an airfield, the track's inaugural event was a six-hour race held on New Year's Eve 1950, setting the stage for decades of thrilling competition. 

The winning car from that historic race now resides at the Edge Motor Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, serving as a tangible reminder of Sebring's illustrious past. 

In 1952, the first 12 Hours of Sebring cemented the race's reputation as a grueling test of endurance and skill. Renowned for its "once around the clock" format, the race begins in daylight and concludes under the cover of night, pushing drivers and teams to their limits in pursuit of victory. 

From 1953 to 1972, Sebring was a cornerstone of the FIA's premier sports car series, hosting races under prestigious banners such as the World Sportscar Championship and the International Championship for Makes. 

During the 1950s, Sebring shared the spotlight with legendary races like the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Carrera Panamericana, and the RAC Tourist Trophy, attracting top-tier talent from around the globe. 

For European teams and drivers, Sebring drew icons of the era such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Nino Farina, Stirling Moss, and Mike Hawthorn. Fangio's victory at the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours testified to the race's prestige, marking the only American victory for the five-time world champion. 

History of the 12 hours of Sebring.

#24 BMW M Hybrid V8's Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus at the 12H Sebring 2024

As the heart of European racing activity in the United States, Sebring commanded international media attention and became a focal point for motorsport enthusiasts worldwide. Even as the racing landscape evolved, Sebring remained a beacon of tradition and excellence. 

Today, Sebring International Raceway continues to captivate audiences with its rich history, storied traditions, and thrilling racing action. 

However, the story of the Sebring International Raceway is not complete without innovation in the face of adversity. The tragic events of the 1966 race marked a turning point in Sebring's history and prompted a critical reassessment of the circuit's facilities and safety measures. 

Five fatalities during the race, including spectators and driver Bob McLean, highlighted the urgent need for improvements. Mario Andretti's collision with Don Wester's Porsche 906 further stressed the dangers inherent in the circuit's layout. 

In response to these incidents, significant upgrades were made to enhance safety, including changes to the circuit layout and the creation of the Green Park Chicane. These measures helped mitigate risks and ensure the well-being of drivers, teams, and spectators.

 Despite its challenging history, Sebring has since maintained an impressive safety record, with only four fatalities occurring since the 1966 race. 

Furthermore, Sebring's reputation as a test of endurance and reliability has made it a crucial preparation ground for the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The circuit’s technical layout, coupled with its notoriously bumpy surface and scorching Florida weather, poses a formidable challenge for teams seeking to fine-tune their cars for the grueling race in France. 

In the annals of Sebring's history, certain names stand out as legends of the track. The Audi R8 holds an impressive record with six overall victories, falling just shy of the Porsche 935's seven wins. Among the drivers, Tom Kristensen's remarkable achievement of six victories solidifies his status as one of Sebring's greatest champions.

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