No. 10 Corvette DP, No. 911 Porsche teams take early lead in P, GTLM.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When the checkered flag falls on Saturday’s 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida (FOX Sports 1, 10 a.m. ET), the inaugural Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup will have reached its “halfway” point.
The Patrón Endurance Cup is a four-race competition encompassing 52 hours of endurance racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. In addition to January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and this weekend’s Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Patrón Endurance Cup also includes the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, June 29, and closes with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 4.
The competition’s Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) champion teams each will be awarded $100,000; Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) champions receive $50,000.
Which begs the question, why is the Rolex 24 winner not the Patrón Endurance Cup points leader? Here’s why: points were awarded at the six-, 12-, 18-, and 24-hour marks in the Rolex 24, with five points going to the leader at each increment, four for second place, three for third and two for all cars in fourth place or lower. Although it never led a segment in the Rolex 24, the No. 10 team leads the standings on the strength of second-place points in three of the four segments and third-place points in the other.
The No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR team – which won the GTLM class in the Rolex 24 – was first at the end of the last three segments, enabling it to move into an early, six-point lead (17-11) over three teams tied for second. The three teams deadlocked are the No. 91 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R squad, the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R team and the No. 93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R team.
The No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 team also parlayed a Rolex 24 victory and first-place points in three segments into the early lead in PC by three points, 19-16, over the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 team. Third in PC with 12 points is the No. 7 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 team.
In GTD, the Rolex 24-winning No. 555 Ferrari team leads the way as the entrant changes from Level 5 Motorsports to AIM Autosport at Sebring. The No. 555 squad led the final three segments at Daytona, giving it a seven-point advantage, 19-12, over the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS team. The No. 58 Snow Racing Porsche 911 GT America team and the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS team are tied for third with 11 points apiece.
Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup Also Recognizes Drivers, Manufacturers
While the top prizes go to the teams, drivers and manufacturers also will be recognized as Patrón Endurance Cup champions at season’s end.
Just as their team leads the Prototype standings, No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing teammates Max Angelelli, Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Wayne Taylor lead in driver points by one (15-14) over Brian Frisselle, Burt Frisselle, Fabien Giroix and John Martin, who co-drove the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP to a third-place result in the Rolex 24. Chevrolet holds a three-point advantage, 18-15, over Ford in the manufacturer standings.
No. 911 Porsche teammates Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy lead by a count of 17-11 over a gaggle of nine drivers in the GTLM standings. Porsche has a four-point lead, 18-14, over Chevrolet in the GTLM manufacturer standings.
No. 54 CORE autosport teammates Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, James Gue and Mark Wilkins rode their PC class victory in the Rolex 24 to the PC lead in the Patrón Endurance Cup by three points, 19-16, over No. 25 8Star Motorsports co-drivers Rob Huff, Tom Kimber-Smith, Michael Marsal and Enzo Potolicchio.
The GTD Patrón Endurance Cup standings see No. 555 teammates Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler, Jeff Segal and Alessandro Pier Guidi atop the chart by seven points, 19-12, over No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports co-drivers Tim Pappas, Spencer Pumpelly, Nelson Canache Jr. and Markus Winkelhock. Ferrari has a four-point advantage, 19-15, over Audi in the manufacturers’ race.
Saturday’s Twelve Hours of Sebring will offer three opportunities to score points, at the four-, eight- and 12-hour marks. The same 5-4-3-2 point structure will be utilized.
Drivers in each class who earn the most points in Saturday’s race each will receive a limited edition, 750 ml bottle of Gran Patrón Platinum tequila signed by the distiller. Entrants for teams in each class that earn the most points at Sebring each will also receive a custom IMSA Paul Reed Smith S2 guitar.