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WEC Sebring 1000 Miles: Race red-flagged for thunderstorms

The FIA World Endurance Championship season opener at Sebring was red-flagged for a second time with a little over an hour to run due to thunderstorms.

Following the earlier stoppage triggered by Toyota driver Jose Maria Lopez's major crash, the 1000-mile race was halted again with around one hour, three minutes left on the clock.

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Even though there had been no accident, WEC race director Eduardo Freitas explained to teams that local laws pertaining to thunderstorms gave the series no option but to throw the red flags.

Alpine was looking on course for victory with Matthieu Vaxiviere holding a comfortable lead over the sole surviving Toyota, the #8 car, of Sebastien Buemi. The Glickenhaus machine of Romain Dumas ran a lap behind in third.

United Autosports held a narrow lead in LMP2, with Paul di Resta five seconds clear of the WRT machine of Robin Frijns.

Porsche's #92 car led the GTE Pro class with Michael Christensen at the wheel, with Tommy Milner second for Corvette Racing, while NorthWest AMR driver Aston Pittard held the advantage in GTE Am.

The race was due to be resumed behind the safety car at 19.15 local time. Rain is forecast for the final hour.

UPDATE: The race was red-flagged for a third time with 37 minutes to go, just as the field was preparing to return to racing conditions behind the safety car.

Several LMP2 cars were forced to take emergency pitstops behind the safety car, including the second-placed WRT car of Rast and the third-placed sister Realteam by WRT machine of Ferdinand Habsburg.

With no sign of the weather improving, the race was finally abandoned with around 15 minutes left on the clock.

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