2023 Super Sebring Weekend WEC/IMSA Recap Part 2

March 20, 2023Ramon Jones

Super Sebring weekend at Sebring International Raceway is an iconic event that motorsports fans from around the world flock to see. Sebring International Raceway has hosted the legendary IMSA 12 hours of Sebring for 70 years. Some of the most iconic cars and drivers have forged their legacy here. This past weekend the 71st Annual Mobil 1 12 hours of Sebring coincided with the FIA WEC 1000 miles of Sebring event for Super Sebring Weekend. Here is the Speed Trap Recap for Super Sebring Weekend 2023 – IMSA). Check out part 1 here for our review of the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring.


The WeatherTech Sportscar Championship kicked off Round 2 of the season at Sebring international Raceway in Florida. After 12 hours of racing the results were as follows:


After controversy ensued at the Rolex 24 with Meyer Shank Racing dropping points and being penalized for tire pressure data manipulation all eyes were pointed towards Sebring to determine if Meyer Shank Racing could redeem themselves on the track. Unfortunately, for the team, Sebring was a weekend to forget after the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura contemplated retiring from the race after an issue with the left rear wheel nut saw them lose a wheel with 80 minutes left in the race. The team would eventually return to the race but were 21 laps down with 30 minutes to go and were not able to amount an offensive to secure a second podium on the season.

However, where there is misfortune for one team there is victory for another and that team was Whelen Engineering Racing. Whelen’s No. 31 Cadillac V Series R cross the finish line in first place after a dramatic ending to the 12 hours of Sebring. With less than 20 minutes until the end of the race the top 3 cars in GTP; two of Porsche’s factory-run Penske 963s and the No. 10 Acura ARX-06 of Wayne Taylor Racing were all involved in a racing incident. Disaster struck after the No. 10 Acura was nudged off track and tried to rejoin ending in a collision.

The Top 3 cars in GTP crash with less than 20 minutes left in the 12 hours of Sebring.

This crash left the door wide open for the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V Series R and the No. 25 RLL Racing BMW M Hybrid to claim P1 and P2. P3 was awarded to the Porsche Penske No. 06 car as they were not able to continue and were leading the pack of the 3 crashed cars on the prior lap. It was a heart breaker for the Team Penske where were looking set to finish with a double podium had they been able to avoid this incident. Due to the fact that the other three cars in GTP had already previously retired there was no other movement in the field standings as the No. 31 time Whelen Engineering Cadillac crossed the line.

Photo Courtesy of Chroma Visual Photo


The top spot in LMP2 was claimed by the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07. After an earlier seemingly race ending incident which saw the No. 8 car crash into the tire wall and destroy the front wing. The car was able to limp to the pits, replace the wing and work its way all the way to P1. The glory of endurance racing is that the race isn’t over until the checkered flag flies and Tower Motorsports took this to heart winning the LMP2 class by just 0.834s over TDS Racing. A margin that could have changed at any point on the final lap of the race. Tower Motorsports will look to continue to build off of this momentum to make a bid at consecutive LMP2 championships having won the title in 2022. LMP2 finished with 5 out of the 8 cars on the lead lap.


LMP3 was a comfortable finish 1.601s with the No. 74 Riley Ligier JS P320 taking first place logging 309 laps and finishing one lap ahead of the LMP3 second and third place runners; AWA and JDC motorsports respectively. The No. 30 car JR III Ligier of had a previous commanding lead but was taken out of the race after making contact with a loose wheel that had came off of the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing LMP2 car and that ended their race. It was a very unlucky situation and in endurance racing you need a little luck to make it to the end. This was the first race of the season where LMP3 cars are awarded points so the JR III Racing team will sit atop the LMP3 class with 380 points.

Photo Courtesy of Chroma Visual Photo

Sean Creech Motorsports also had a frustrating day with a lap one crash and an electrical issue related to a short in the wiring harness loom that prevented any 1st gear shifts. “Tough day all around,” said team principal Sean Creech. “We were able to recover from the lap one incident well, but then had the electrical issue. We’ve had it before, so we tried what worked before, and it didn’t work. When you plug into the car, there’s a list of items to check and it turned out to be something not even on that list – just a bad wiring harness. After that, it was about getting as many points as possible. I thought Billy (Glavin, Jr lll team owner) and the 30 car was going to win but they got taken out and we got past them on that last lap, the hard way. But this crew, they’re the best. They work tirelessly, every one of them.”


The GTD Pro race was fill with mishaps, runoff, mechanical failures and traffic woes on track. For winner Pfaff Motorsports their weekend seemingly had come to an end after vicious crash in qualifying left the car mangled and unable to rejoin the session. It is a testament to the crew at Pfaff that the car was able to be rebuilt over night and back out on grid to come away with the No. 9 Pfaff motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) finishing in first place at the end of 12 hours of grueling racing.

Driver Patrick Pilet managed to stretch one tank of fuel for one hour, 51 minutes to keep the No. 9 out of the pits and atop the leaderboard. The team benefited from multiple cautions that helped them implement a fuel-saving strategies while also making up for lost positions in qualifying. The No. 9 car was able to successfully avoid the carnage from the GTP crash with just under 20 minutes remaining in the race and the team cruised to victory with a 2.706s lead over the Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. The team released this video with displays of team triumph after the race weekend .


Lastly the Rolex 24 GTD The Heart of Racing Team had hoped to build on the momentum they had from the Rolex 24 win in Sebring for the 12, but things just did not go their way. Drivers Roman De Angelis, Marco Sorensen, and Ian James teamed in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTD and started off in 7th James drove through the first three hours of the race and turned the car over to  Sorensen and then De Angelis before turning the Aston Martin back to Sorensen, who drove the car into the lead on lap 185. The car was hit from behind and was later forced off track which ended the race for the Heart of Racing Team. The driver had a few comments regarding the events on the day.

Roman De Angelis — “The race was pretty chaotic, we went from the front to the back a couple of times. I thought we had a really good change at the end leading the last few hours, but some pretty stupid driving from somebody else put us in a bad position and the car couldn’t finish due to a broken suspension. That was not the way we wanted to end, at least we could have grabbed some good points at the end with the way our strategy turned out, but that’s racing. Hopefully we can come back and get some points in Long Beach.”

Marco Sorensen — “To end the weekend like we did just now was definitely not the plan. There isn’t a whole lot that I could have done differently when a car just cuts across the track. It shows a little bit of lack of perspective in general in the paddock, but it is what it is now. We can’t change it. We just have to come back at Long Beach. The team did a really really good job and the car was actually better than what we expected to have here at Sebring. It’s been a pleasure all weekend and we have a good car, it was just unfortunate.”  

Ian James — “I think the team performed really well, it was a pleasure to drive with Roman and Marco here at Sebring. I had three pretty good stints to start there and I really thought we were on for a good result, but unfortunately somebody else’s stupidity took us out. That is all part of racing, you have the highs and the lows. Our high was Daytona and now we are seeing a low. The most frustrating part is we had a car that could have won, but that’s okay because we will bounce back.” 

The No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 from Paul Miller Racing ended up finishing in first with the No. 96 BMW M4 GT3 from Turner Motorsports finishing in second. All in all it was a good day for BMW as a manufacturer securing two cars on podium in GTD and one in the GTP class with RLL Racing.