Toyota ahead at quarter-distance after Ferrari make early pit stop from lead

World Endurance Championship

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The two Toyota GR010 Hybrids are split by just half a second at the front a quarter of the way into the Sebring 1000 Miles.

The number 50 Ferrari 499P started the race on pole, and the car’s first ever lap of racing was completed behind the Safety Car before the field was released. During that time there was already drama, as the number 94 Peugeot had to head to the pit lane due to being stuck in first gear.

Antonio Fuoco kept the Ferrari in the lead once racing properly got underway, but he was sat behind the Safety Car again by lap five following a huge crash for the number 83 AF Corse Ferrari in the GTE Am class.

Luis Perez Companc was uninjured in the crash, but the damage to the tyre barriers meant racing did not resume until lap 13. By that point Fuoco had already given up his lead, as Ferrari opted to pit both their hypercars to top them up with fuel.

That promoted the number eight Toyota into the lead ahead of sister car, with the Team Penske-run number six Porsche in third and number two Cadillac in fourth. It took three laps for Fuoco to reach the back of the Hypercar pack, which did not include the Peugeot that hit early troubles or the sole Glickenhaus which suffered an engine cut-out at the restart, and he moved further up the order while the Toyotas pulled away.

Fuoco fell back down the order though by lap 28, as he was handed a drive-through penalty for overtaking behind the Safety Car, and he then had to repeat his earlier charge.

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Mike Conway pitted the number eight Toyota from first place at the end of lap 33, promoting team mate Sebastien Buemi into a big lead over Laurens Vanthoor in the Penske Porsche. Several of the other Hypercar entries pitted on the same lap, and once Buemi pitted too it left the Ferraris running at the front of the field.

The leading Toyotas closed up before the race was interrupted
Buemi returned to track ahead of Conway in third place, and he moved into the lead when the Ferraris made their second proper pit stops.

Conway ate into Buemi’s five-second gap to him over the second stint, getting it down to a second before he pitted on lap 63 to undercut his team mate. Buemi came in two laps later to hand over to Kamui Kobayashi, with Conway being replaced by Brendon Hartley.

The undercut worked and Hartley assumed the lead, but quickly came under pressure from Kobayashi who filled his mirrors. However a Full Course Yellow period began as the race reached quarter-distance due to the Glickenhaus losing power again and stopping.

Behind the Toyotas there had been thrilling battles between the two Penske Porsches and the Cadillac, with Alex Lynn hassling Michael Christensen in the number five Porsche and then Vanthoor in the number six. While he eventually got through, the battling left the trio a minute behind the Toyotas (prior to the pace being slowed by the FCY) and brought the Ferraris behind them back into contention.

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Sebring 1000 Miles standings at quarter-distance

Pos No. Class Team Car Drivers
1 8 Hypercar (Hybrid) Toyota Toyota GR010 Hybrid Sébastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa
2 7 Hypercar (Hybrid) Toyota Toyota GR010 Hybrid Mike Conway/Kamui Kobayashi/Jose Maria Lopez
3 6 Hypercar (Hybrid) Porsche Penske Porsche 963 Kévin Estre/André Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor
4 50 Hypercar (Hybrid) Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P Antonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen
5 5 Hypercar (Hybrid) Porsche Penske Porsche 963 Dane Cameron/Michael Christensen/Frédéric Makowiecki
6 51 Hypercar (Hybrid) Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P Alessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Antonio Giovinazzi
7 2 Hypercar (Hybrid) Cadillac Cadillac V-Series.R Earl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Richard Westbrook
8 23 LMP2 United Autosports Oreca 07 – Gibson Joshua Pierson/Tom Blomqvist/Oliver Jarvis
9 4 Hypercar (Hybrid) Floyd Vanwall Vanwall Vandervell 680 Tom Dillmann/Esteban Guerrieri/Jacques Villeneuve
10 63 LMP2 Prema Oreca 07 – Gibson Doriane Pin/Mirko Bortolotti/Daniil Kvyat
11 36 LMP2 Alpine Oreca 07 – Gibson Matthieu Vaxiviere/Julien Canal/Charles Milesi
12 22 LMP2 United Autosports Oreca 07 – Gibson Frederick Lubin/Philip Hanson/Filipe Albuquerque
13 34 LMP2 Inter Europol Oreca 07 – Gibson Jakub Smiechowski/Fabio Scherer/Albert Costa
14 48 LMP2 Jota Oreca 07 – Gibson David Beckmann/Yifei Ye/William Stevens
15 31 LMP2 Team WRT Oreca 07 – Gibson Sean Gelael/Ferdinand Habsburg/Robin Frijns
16 28 LMP2 Jota Oreca 07 – Gibson David Heinemeier Hansson/Pietro Fittipaldi/Oliver Rasmussen
17 9 LMP2 Prema Oreca 07 – Gibson Filip Ugran/Bent Viscaal/Andrea Caldarelli
18 41 LMP2 Team WRT Oreca 07 – Gibson Rui Andrade/Robert Kubica/Louis Delétraz
19 35 LMP2 Alpine Oreca 07 – Gibson André Negrão/Memo Rojas/Oliver Caldwell
20 85 LMGTE Am Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR 19 Sarah Bovy/Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey
21 33 LMGTE Am Corvette Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Ben Keating/Nicolas Varrone/Nicky Catsburg
22 98 LMGTE Am Northwest AMR Aston Martin Vantage AMR Paul Dalla Lana/Nicki Thiim/Axcil Jeffries
23 21 LMGTE Am AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO Stefano Costantini/Simon Mann/Ulysse de Pauw
24 708 Hypercar (Hybrid) Glickenhaus Glickenhaus 007 Romain Dumas/Ryan Briscoe/Olivier Pla
25 54 LMGTE Am AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO Thomas Flohr/Francesco Castellacci/Davide Rigon
26 57 LMGTE Am Kessel Ferrari 488 GTE EVO Takeshi Kimura/Scott Huffaker/Daniel Serra
27 60 LMGTE Am Iron Lynx Porsche 911 RSR 19 Claudio Schiavoni/Matteo Cressoni/Alessio Picariello
28 86 LMGTE Am GR Porsche 911 RSR 19 Michael Wainwright/Riccardo Pera/Benjamin Barker
29 77 LMGTE Am Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR 19 Christian Ried/Mikkel Pedersen/Julien Andlauer
30 777 LMGTE Am D’Station Aston Martin Vantage AMR Satoshi Hoshino/Casper Stevenson/Tomonobu Fujii
31 25 LMGTE Am ORT by TF Aston Martin Vantage AMR Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Dinan/Charlie Eastwood
32 56 LMGTE Am Project 1 AO Porsche 911 RSR 19 PJ Hyett/Gunnar Jeannette/Matteo Cairoli
33 93 Hypercar (Hybrid) Peugeot Peugeot 9X8 Paul Di Resta/Mikkel Jensen/Jean-Éric Vergne
34 10 LMP2 Vector Sport Oreca 07 – Gibson Ryan Cullen/Matthias Kaiser/Gabriel Aubry
35 94 Hypercar (Hybrid) Peugeot Peugeot 9X8 Loic Duval/Gustavo Menezes/Nico Müller
36 83 LMGTE Am AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO Luis Perez Companc/Lilou Wadoux/Alessio Rovera

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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3 comments on “Toyota ahead at quarter-distance after Ferrari make early pit stop from lead”

  1. Enjoying the racing so far, and the lack of tyre warmers is making things interesting too.

  2. CD (@clipperdael)
    17th March 2023, 19:52

    Companc’s crash in T1 looked quite similar to Bachler’s a litte bit earlier in the 12H qualifying, might want to take it easy there…

  3. I read the headline “Ferrari make early pitstop” and in my head, I heard, “Ferrari make early pitstop mistake”.
    My mind is so accustomed to this kind of thing, its confusing to see them doing well here.

Comments are closed.