Whilst the action across the full 12 Hours may not have been one for the ages, the remarkable reliability of the field, and the introduction of Michelin rubber to the DPi class assisted a bumper haul of record-setting performances.
At the head of the field, Pipo Derani, who starred in the race, joins the illustrious company on three overall wins (in four years) to his name! Mario Andretti, Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Hans Stuck and Marco Werner are the others on the list.
The race saw the closest racing finish in Sebring’s history, 1.030 seconds. The previous record was 2.82 seconds in 2016 though Audi managed a 1-2 finish in 2001 with a margin of 0.482 seconds.
The 2019 12 Hours of Sebring was only the ninth race in the events 67-year history when rain has featured. The last was in 2016, and before that in 1997!
The Prototype class race lap record, held by Oliver Jarvis with a 1:49.002 in the Mazda last year, was smashed in the first year with Michelin rubber, now a 1:47.472 from Harry Tincknell on the 300th lap of this race in the #55 Mazda!
And for Cadillac as a brand, today’s victory adds to its run of form in the DPi. The DPi V.R continues to prove itself as the best car in the DPi field, its dominance at the endurance races remarkable since the formula started back in 2017. The proof is in the numbers, so far the Cadillac has won 14 of the 21 races in the DPi era and six of the nine Endurance Cup races.
The GTLM record went too (again a mark set last year) by Jesse Krohn in the BMW M8, the new record going to the #66 Ford GT with a 1:57.478 in the hands of Sebastien Bourdais. That mark set on Lap 77.
Qualifying records had already been broken in the P class with a 1:45.865 for Dane Cameron in the #6 Penske Acura shaving almost 1.6 seconds from Tristan Vautier’s 2018 mark in the Spirit of Daytona Cadillac DPi.
Porsche extends their record for most class wins by a manufacturer to 72 courtesy of the win in GTLM for the #911.
That car wins the GTLM for a second consecutive year, with Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki all featuring in both wins!
2019 was a remarkably attrition-free race, beating the record for percentage of starters to finishers very substantially. 2010 saw 30 cars finish from a 33 car field (90.9%). 2019 saw early trouble for the #19 Moorespeed GTD class Audi (broken axle) a late retirement for the #14 Lexus (braking) and a very late retirement for the #96 Turner BMW.
35 finishers from 38 starters see a new record of 92.1%.
With a GTD win for Grasser, Rik Breukers scores a third win in three starts in Floridian endurance classics. He has back-to-back GTD wins for Lamborghini at the Rolex 24 Hours and a win on his Sebring debut, again with the Italian marque. Mirko Bortolotti shared all three wins with the young Dutchman too.
It’s a second consecutive Sebring GTD win for the Huracan GT3, this year in Evo form (after last year’s victory for Paul Miller Racing) and back to back Floridian classics for the #11 crew in 2019 after winning the Rolex 24.