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Race report
WEC Sebring

WEC Sebring 1000 Miles: Alpine wins after multiple red flags

Alpine won the 1000 Miles of Sebring, the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, that was thrice red flagged due to a huge Toyota Hypercar crash and thunderstorms in the area.

The planned eight-hour race ended in an anticlimax when severe weather moved into the area in the final hour.

The #36 Alpine A480-Gibson grandfathered LMP1 car – driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao – dominated the event, constantly outpacing the Hypercar class opposition from Toyota and Glickenhaus as well as the LMP2s.

Following the first red flag and 30-minute delay, while the barriers were repaired following Jose Maria Lopez’s huge crash in the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid at Turn 15, the race went green with just over 3hr40mins remaining.

The #8 Toyota led at that point but had to take emergency service, to avoid running out of fuel, and pitted on the following lap for another stop.

At the resumption, Alpine led the solo Glickenhaus 007 LMH by a lap with the remaining Toyota dropping back to third. However, as the green flag flew, Briscoe in the Glickenhaus passed the Corvette GTE Pro car before the restart, earning a penalty.

After a second red flag for electrical storms in the area, although no rain fell, the race was scheduled to restart with a 36-minute dash to the finish – but with more rain threatening. After further electrical activity, the field was getting ready to restart when more lightning was detected nearby.

The chequered flag was waved with 14 minutes still on the clock as the heavens finally opened.

Alpine claimed its first overall WEC win from the surviving #8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, and the Glickenhaus of Olivier Pla, Romain Dumas and Ryan Briscoe.

In LMP2, the #23 of United Autosports Oreca entry of Paul di Resta, Oliver Jarvis and Josh Pierson won the class in fourth overall ahead of the lead WRT car of Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael and Rene Rast.

The Realteam by WRT car shared by Ferdinand Habsburg, Norman Nato and Rui Andrade initially dropped out of third place after taking an emergency pitstop behind the safety car following the second red flag, but was ultimately handed the final podium spot in an adjustment to the results.

That demoted Prema to fourth on the team's LMP2 debut with Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Lorenzo Colombo at the wheel, ahead of the two JOTA entries in fifth and sixth.

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre

Photo by: Paul Foster

Porsche overcomes Corvette in GTE Pro

The #92 factory Porsche squad of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, which dominated the weekend, won the GTE Pro class by 1.4s from the belligerent Chevrolet Corvette team.

After an entertaining battle between Porsche and Corvette over the opening hours, during which both 911 RSR-19s were penalized for a startline infringement, Estre’s car passed the sole Corvette C8.R soon after the restart following the first red flag on the run to the final corner.

The sister #91 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz looked set to make it a one-two but a jammed left-rear wheelnut hampered its cause as it finished third, over 9secs in arrears of the Corvette of Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner.

Ferrari's pair of 488 GTE Evos trailed home in fourth and fifth, with the #51 car of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado leading home the #52 machine of Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco.

In GTE Am, Aston Martin locked out the top two places, with the NorthWest AMR squad of David Pittard, Nicki Thiim and Paul Dalla Lana winning out ahead of the TF Sport car of Marco Sorensen, Ben Keating and Florian Latorre and the #56 Team Project 1 Porsche.

Race results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Laps Time
1 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 194 -
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 194 6.886
3 708 France Olivier Pla
France Romain Dumas
Australia Ryan Briscoe
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 193 1 lap
4 23 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Josh Pierson
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 2 laps
5 31 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Germany René Rast
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 25.410
6 41 Portugal Rui Andrade
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 3'13.649
7 9 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Italy Lorenzo Colombo
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 3'16.997
8 28 Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 3'20.707
9 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 3'22.676
10 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Will Owen
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 3'27.793
11 5 United States Dane Cameron
France Emmanuel Collard
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Oreca 07 LMP2 192 3'35.354
12 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Oreca 07 LMP2 191 3 laps
13 35 France Jean Baptiste Lahaye
France Matthieu Lahaye
France François Heriau
Oreca 07 LMP2 190 4 laps
14 45 United States Steven Thomas
Australia James Allen
Austria Rene Binder
Oreca 07 LMP2 190 2.258
15 1 France Lilou Wadoux
France Sébastien Ogier
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 189 5 laps
16 44 Slovakia Miro Konopka
Switzerland Mathias Beche
Netherlands Tijmen van der Helm
Oreca 07 LMP2 188 6 laps
17 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 183 11 laps
18 64 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 183 0.916
19 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 183 2.878
20 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 183 3'34.623
21 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom David Pittard
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 180 14 laps
22 52 Spain Miguel Molina
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 180 2.142
23 33 United States Ben Keating
France Florian Latorre
Denmark Marco Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 180 2'36.349
24 56 United States Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 180 2'39.225
25 77 Germany Christian Ried
United Kingdom Sebastian Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 180 3'15.435
26 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Belgium Sarah Bovy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 179 15 laps
27 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Charlie Fagg
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 179 16.834
28 21 France Simon Mann
Switzerland Christoph Ulrich
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 178 16 laps
29 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 178 8.196
30 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
New Zealand Nick Cassidy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 178 9.330
31 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Mexico Esteban Gutierrez
Oreca 07 LMP2 174 20 laps
32 88 United States Fred Poordad
United States Patrick Lindsey
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 169 25 laps
33 10 Switzerland Nico Müller
Ireland Ryan Cullen
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Oreca 07 LMP2 157 37 laps
34 71 France Franck Dezoteux
France Pierre Ragues
France Gabriel Aubry
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 122 72 laps
35 46 Italy Matteo Cairoli
Denmark Mikkel Pedersen
Switzerland Nicolas Leutwiler
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 86 108 laps
36 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 110 86 laps

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