Nicolas Lapierre’s ESM Nissan was leading the 66th running of the Sebring 12 Hours but just before the fourth hour was complete, an awning blew from a spectator area onto the track, bringing out a full-course caution.
The timing was perfect for the Penske team which was already servicing its #7 Acura ARX-05, and so Helio Castroneves rejoined the track in front and made the best of a restart but there was another caution period almost immediately with Alex Brundle spinning the United Autosports Ligier at the final turn.
Behind Castroneves, Pipo Derani now behind the wheel of the #22 ESM Nissan continued a fierce battle with the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac over second.
Jonathan Bomarito is now fourth in the #55 Mazda RT24-P despite co-driver Harry Tincknell earlier getting a drive-through penalty for bumping a backmarker. The sister #77 Mazda had been legitimately into third before a long stop with major braking issues.
So the second Penske Acura is now fifth with Dane Cameron at the wheel, ahead of the Spirit of Daytona Cadillac with Eddie Cheever III in the cockpit.
Jordan Taylor survived an odd pit-exit bump with the Magnus Racing Audi in the middle of the previous stint, but the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac needed an extra stop to top up with water after failing to replenish during his regular fifth stop, so it has fallen to eighth, now with Ryan Hunter-Reay at the wheel, chasing Filipe Albuquerque in the second AXR Caddy.
In GT Le Mans, the Corvette of Oliver Gavin benefited in a similar manner to Castroneves, having just stopped before the full course caution and so on the restart he was desperately trying to hold off James Calado in the Risi Competizione Ferrari, the works Porsche 911 RSRs of Patrick Pilet and Earl Bamber, and the BMW M8 of Alexander Sims.
In GT Daytona, the Lexus RC Fs of Jack Hawksworth and Philipp Frommenwiler ran 1-2 ahead of Alvaro Parente in the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX and Bryan Sellers’ Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini.