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

18Hypercar (Hybrid)ToyotaToyota GR010 HybridSébastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa
27Hypercar (Hybrid)ToyotaToyota GR010 HybridMike Conway/Kamui Kobayashi/Jose Maria Lopez
36Hypercar (Hybrid)Porsche PenskePorsche 963Kévin Estre/André Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor
450Hypercar (Hybrid)Ferrari AF CorseFerrari 499PAntonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen
55Hypercar (Hybrid)Porsche PenskePorsche 963Dane Cameron/Michael Christensen/Frédéric Makowiecki
651Hypercar (Hybrid)Ferrari AF CorseFerrari 499PAlessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Antonio Giovinazzi
72Hypercar (Hybrid)CadillacCadillac V-Series.REarl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Richard Westbrook
823LMP2United AutosportsOreca 07 – GibsonJoshua Pierson/Tom Blomqvist/Oliver Jarvis
94Hypercar (Hybrid)Floyd VanwallVanwall Vandervell 680Tom Dillmann/Esteban Guerrieri/Jacques Villeneuve
1063LMP2PremaOreca 07 – GibsonDoriane Pin/Mirko Bortolotti/Daniil Kvyat
1136LMP2AlpineOreca 07 – GibsonMatthieu Vaxiviere/Julien Canal/Charles Milesi
1222LMP2United AutosportsOreca 07 – GibsonFrederick Lubin/Philip Hanson/Filipe Albuquerque
1334LMP2Inter EuropolOreca 07 – GibsonJakub Smiechowski/Fabio Scherer/Albert Costa
1448LMP2JotaOreca 07 – GibsonDavid Beckmann/Yifei Ye/William Stevens
1531LMP2Team WRTOreca 07 – GibsonSean Gelael/Ferdinand Habsburg/Robin Frijns
1628LMP2JotaOreca 07 – GibsonDavid Heinemeier Hansson/Pietro Fittipaldi/Oliver Rasmussen
179LMP2PremaOreca 07 – GibsonFilip Ugran/Bent Viscaal/Andrea Caldarelli
1841LMP2Team WRTOreca 07 – GibsonRui Andrade/Robert Kubica/Louis Delétraz
1935LMP2AlpineOreca 07 – GibsonAndré Negrão/Memo Rojas/Oliver Caldwell
2085LMGTE AmIron DamesPorsche 911 RSR 19Sarah Bovy/Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey
2133LMGTE AmCorvetteChevrolet Corvette C8.RBen Keating/Nicolas Varrone/Nicky Catsburg
2298LMGTE AmNorthwest AMRAston Martin Vantage AMRPaul Dalla Lana/Nicki Thiim/Axcil Jeffries
2321LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOStefano Costantini/Simon Mann/Ulysse de Pauw
24708Hypercar (Hybrid)GlickenhausGlickenhaus 007Romain Dumas/Ryan Briscoe/Olivier Pla
2554LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOThomas Flohr/Francesco Castellacci/Davide Rigon
2657LMGTE AmKesselFerrari 488 GTE EVOTakeshi Kimura/Scott Huffaker/Daniel Serra
2760LMGTE AmIron LynxPorsche 911 RSR 19Claudio Schiavoni/Matteo Cressoni/Alessio Picariello
2886LMGTE AmGRPorsche 911 RSR 19Michael Wainwright/Riccardo Pera/Benjamin Barker
2977LMGTE AmDempsey-ProtonPorsche 911 RSR 19Christian Ried/Mikkel Pedersen/Julien Andlauer
30777LMGTE AmD’StationAston Martin Vantage AMRSatoshi Hoshino/Casper Stevenson/Tomonobu Fujii
3125LMGTE AmORT by TFAston Martin Vantage AMRAhmad Al Harthy/Michael Dinan/Charlie Eastwood
3256LMGTE AmProject 1 AOPorsche 911 RSR 19PJ Hyett/Gunnar Jeannette/Matteo Cairoli
3393Hypercar (Hybrid)PeugeotPeugeot 9X8Paul Di Resta/Mikkel Jensen/Jean-Éric Vergne
3410LMP2Vector SportOreca 07 – GibsonRyan Cullen/Matthias Kaiser/Gabriel Aubry
3594Hypercar (Hybrid)PeugeotPeugeot 9X8Loic Duval/Gustavo Menezes/Nico Müller
3683LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOLuis 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.

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