Peugeot sets early pace at Sebring

Nicolas Minassian took an early reign of the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, giving Peugeot the lead with one hour complete in the 12-hour endurance race. The No. 07 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has shown to have the early pace advantage over the two...

Nicolas Minassian took an early reign of the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, giving Peugeot the lead with one hour complete in the 12-hour endurance race. The No. 07 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has shown to have the early pace advantage over the two Audi R10 TDIs.

Minassian bolted into an early lead, passing Audi's Dindo Capello, who led the field to the green. The Peugeot opened up to an early advantage over the two Audis, with Jon Field in the Intersport Racing Lola making a great start in fourth.

Andretti Green Racing's Marco Andretti ran wide into the grass, avoiding a potential pile-up ahead of him. He quickly recovered and began reeling in the LM P2 leaders. "Marco has acclimated himself very well to driving the Acura," said co-driver Bryan Herta. "Having never driven a prototype before, he is doing a phenomenal job, using good judgment."

Field's early run up front came to an end on lap 5 when he spun his LM P1 car under braking.

The first full-course caution came out with 25 minutes complete, when Johannes van Overbeek and Capello collided in Turn 3. The contact sent the No. 46 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche hard into the barriers. Van Overbeek limped to the pits with suspension damage. Capello later served a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact.

"It's a shame the careless act of one affects so many others," van Overbeek said.

The leaders took the opportunity to make pit stops, with Minassian taking fuel-only. Both Audis and Penske Porsches changed tires and fueled. Andretti also took fuel only, beating out the Porsches and other Acuras to take over the P2 class lead.

Problem erupted for the No. 6 Penske Racing Porsche at the end of the first hour. Sascha Maassen sat in the RS Spyder as the crew took off the rear engine cover with a suspected oil leak. At the one-hour mark, the car was pushed to the garage.

The P2 field continues to chase Andretti, who is up to third overall because of Capello's penalty. The No. 7 Penske Porsche of Timo Bernhard runs in second, with David Brabham's No. 9 Highcroft Acura in third in class.

Jan Magnussen has paced LM GT1 since the green flag, closely pursued by the sister Corvette Racing entry of Oliver Gavin. Terry Borcheller in the Bell Motorsports Aston Martin runs in third, one lap back on the two yellow Corvettes.

In LM GT2, Jamie Melo has taken control of the race. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari gained a lap over its competitors because of the caution. The No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche of Dirk Werner is second, with the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Wolf Henzler in third.

Dirk Muller in the No. 71 Tafel Racing Ferrari, which was another contender for the win, sits in pit lane with overheating problems. The car has a reported fluid leak.

The B-K Motorsports Mazda Lola, whose the crew made a herculean effort rebuilding the car after a Thursday accident, is now officially out of the race. The car failed to make the grid after developing a fuel leak after warm up which lead to their being excluded. In violation of the IMSA supplemental regulation 13.5.4, the team failed to present their car to pit lane prior to the first hour after the green flag.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Nicolas Minassian , Bryan Herta , Jon Field , Sascha Maassen , Terry Borcheller , Oliver Gavin , Timo Bernhard , Johannes van Overbeek , Marco Andretti , Wolf Henzler , Dirk Werner , Dindo Capello
Teams Team Penske , Corvette Racing , Flying Lizard Motorsports