Toyota is on course to win the first World Endurance Championship race of the year, as their hypercars occupy the top two positions at the Sebring 1000 Miles with just over an hour to go.
Jose Maria Lopez went into the second half of the race with a growing lead over team mate Ryo Hirakawa, with the number six Team Penske-run Porsche occupying third place after Ferrari’s Nicklas Nielsen pitted.
Andre Lotterer then pitted the Porsche, and Ferrari’s Antonio Giovinazzi pitted from fourth, promoting Cadillac’s Richard Westbrook up to the final podium place until his own pit stop.
The lead Toyota pitted at a similar time, putting Hirakawa at the front of the race for a lap before he also made his way into the pit lane and re-emerged 4.3 seconds behind Lopez and a lap ahead of Nielsen.
Lapped traffic enabled Hirakawa to close the gap to his team mate, and it was at two seconds before a Full Course Yellow period caused by the #51 Ferrari crashing while lapping GTE Am class cars after it was handed over by Giovinazzi to Alessandro Pier Guidi.
Initially the damage was not too bad, but Pier Guidi drove too quickly on his way to the pits and it led to the rear-left of his car being ripped apart and debris being left around the track. Lengthy repairs, plus a ten-second stop-go penalty for the incident, removed him from podium contention.
Giovinazzi had come to close to passing Lotterer on track before the latter pitted, and when Lotterer returned to track he influenced the fight in the LMP2 class by being slow to warm up his tyres and getting in the way of two cars that were fighting another that successfully got past his Porsche.
Once the pit stop cycle played out, Westbrook was in third again and 44 seconds clear of Antonio Fuoco who had taken over the #50 Ferrari from Nielsen.
Following the Full Course Yellow period, and a spin for Vanwall’s Jacques Villenevue, Toyota chose to pit Hirakawa from second and do the same with Lopez a lap later. This time the overcut worked best, with Kamui Kobayashi keeping the number seven car back in the lead after taking over from Lopez and then pulling away by a second per lap from an unhappy Sebastien Buemi in the #8 car.
Westbrook went from third to fifth with his next pit stop, putting Fuoco back onto the podium and with a 40 second gap to Laurens Vanthoor in the #6 Porsche. It was only a handful of laps before Vanthoor pitted too, after which the gap was large enough for Ferrari to call in Fuoco without losing a position.
He returned to track two laps down from the Toyotas, now almost ten seconds apart as Buemi’s frustrations continued, and only a few seconds ahead of Earl Bamber who had taken over from Westbrook.
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|1||7||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Toyota||Toyota GR010 Hybrid||Mike Conway/Kamui Kobayashi/Jose Maria Lopez|
|2||8||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Toyota||Toyota GR010 Hybrid||Sébastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa|
|3||50||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Ferrari AF Corse||Ferrari 499P||Antonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen|
|4||2||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Cadillac||Cadillac V-Series.R||Earl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Richard Westbrook|
|5||6||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Porsche Penske||Porsche 963||Kévin Estre/André Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor|
|6||5||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Porsche Penske||Porsche 963||Dane Cameron/Michael Christensen/Frédéric Makowiecki|
|7||48||LMP2||Jota||Oreca 07 – Gibson||David Beckmann/Yifei Ye/William Stevens|
|8||63||LMP2||Prema||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Doriane Pin/Mirko Bortolotti/Daniil Kvyat|
|9||31||LMP2||Team WRT||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Sean Gelael/Ferdinand Habsburg/Robin Frijns|
|10||22||LMP2||United Autosports||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Frederick Lubin/Philip Hanson/Filipe Albuquerque|
|11||34||LMP2||Inter Europol||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Jakub Smiechowski/Fabio Scherer/Albert Costa|
|12||28||LMP2||Jota||Oreca 07 – Gibson||David Heinemeier Hansson/Pietro Fittipaldi/Oliver Rasmussen|
|13||41||LMP2||Team WRT||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Rui Andrade/Robert Kubica/Louis Delétraz|
|14||9||LMP2||Prema||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Filip Ugran/Bent Viscaal/Andrea Caldarelli|
|15||36||LMP2||Alpine||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Matthieu Vaxiviere/Julien Canal/Charles Milesi|
|16||51||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Ferrari AF Corse||Ferrari 499P||Alessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Antonio Giovinazzi|
|17||33||LMGTE Am||Corvette||Chevrolet Corvette C8.R||Ben Keating/Nicolas Varrone/Nicky Catsburg|
|18||93||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Peugeot||Peugeot 9X8||Paul Di Resta/Mikkel Jensen/Jean-Éric Vergne|
|19||57||LMGTE Am||Kessel||Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||Takeshi Kimura/Scott Huffaker/Daniel Serra|
|20||77||LMGTE Am||Dempsey-Proton||Porsche 911 RSR 19||Christian Ried/Mikkel Pedersen/Julien Andlauer|
|21||21||LMGTE Am||AF Corse||Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||Stefano Costantini/Simon Mann/Ulysse de Pauw|
|22||54||LMGTE Am||AF Corse||Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||Thomas Flohr/Francesco Castellacci/Davide Rigon|
|23||85||LMGTE Am||Iron Dames||Porsche 911 RSR 19||Sarah Bovy/Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey|
|24||60||LMGTE Am||Iron Lynx||Porsche 911 RSR 19||Claudio Schiavoni/Matteo Cressoni/Alessio Picariello|
|25||86||LMGTE Am||GR||Porsche 911 RSR 19||Michael Wainwright/Riccardo Pera/Benjamin Barker|
|26||25||LMGTE Am||ORT by TF||Aston Martin Vantage AMR||Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Dinan/Charlie Eastwood|
|27||777||LMGTE Am||D’Station||Aston Martin Vantage AMR||Satoshi Hoshino/Casper Stevenson/Tomonobu Fujii|
|28||10||LMP2||Vector Sport||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Ryan Cullen/Matthias Kaiser/Gabriel Aubry|
|29||98||LMGTE Am||Northwest AMR||Aston Martin Vantage AMR||Paul Dalla Lana/Nicki Thiim/Axcil Jeffries|
|30||56||LMGTE Am||Project 1 AO||Porsche 911 RSR 19||PJ Hyett/Gunnar Jeannette/Matteo Cairoli|
|31||4||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Floyd Vanwall||Vanwall Vandervell 680||Tom Dillmann/Esteban Guerrieri/Jacques Villeneuve|
|32||35||LMP2||Alpine||Oreca 07 – Gibson||André Negrão/Memo Rojas/Oliver Caldwell|
|33||94||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Peugeot||Peugeot 9X8||Loic Duval/Gustavo Menezes/Nico Müller|
|34||23||LMP2||United Autosports||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Joshua Pierson/Tom Blomqvist/Oliver Jarvis|
|35||708||Hypercar (Hybrid)||Glickenhaus||Glickenhaus 007||Romain Dumas/Ryan Briscoe/Olivier Pla|
|36||83||LMGTE Am||AF Corse||Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||Luis Perez Companc/Lilou Wadoux/Alessio Rovera|