IMSA: 12 Hours of Sebring GTD Pro/GTD/LMP2 Race Recap

March 17, 2024Ramon Jones

Check out the 12 Hours of Sebring GTP Results Here


Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood secured the win in the GTD Pro class for Vasser Sullivan in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Cadillac. The defending champions had a poor finish in the season opener at the 24 Hours of Daytona and needed to bounce back in Sebring to defend their 2023 championship. The race started off on a low note after Jack Hawksworth was penalized for hitting a crew member in the pits which relegated the No. 14 Lexus to the back of the grid. However, Hawksworth didn’t give up hope. “We’ll get back into it and see if we can’t keep the car clean for another seven or eight hours and then have a go at it at the end,” he said. That state rang true when the checkered flag flew.

Jack Hawksworth Commented on the Fight for the Win

“These long races, you have to do everything perfectly. Everyone has to do their job absolutely perfectly just to be there to even have a chance at the end. Then you just hope that the cards fall your way. We had a tough day. But the team, we made good steps over the off-season. We wanted to come and show what we could do, right? This has been a proper bounce back…We had the one obviously drive-through early in the race, a wobble there. Other than that, it was rock solid all day. The guys on pit lane were unbelievable all day. Ben and Kyle were absolute monsters out there. Yeah, we ended up in the fight there at the end. Come out on top. I couldn’t be prouder of everybody. Yeah, the last four hours out there were absolutely nuts.”

The No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus beat out a hard fought second place finisher the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3. The No. 62 won the in class race at the 24 Hours of Daytona but were later disqualified for exceeding the expected performance for their car by the IMSA stewards. While a win would have been the goal for the team. This weekend a podium is a solid consolation after the championship points from the 24 Hours of Daytona were taken away. The No. 62 Ferrari has demonstrated that they are a force to be reckoned with in the championship this year. We expect these battles between Vasser Sullivan and Risi Competizione to heat up as the cares head for the next round in Long Beach.


The No. 57 Windward Racing Mercedes had a similar uphill battle to the winners of the GTD Pro class. The car was penalized at the beginning of the race for having un approved sensors on the car resulting in start from dead last on the grid. “We knew we had the car for it,” said Russell Ward, closing driver for Winward Racing. “We just wanted to keep our heads clean. We started off the season in such a great form winning Daytona.

Our goal really was just to get the maximum amount of points that we could out of this race. This track really suits this race car well. The Mercedes-AMG gives you a ton of confidence here. You need it at Sebring — a dangerous racetrack. A lot of chances to make a mistake. The crew performed flawlessly. No mistakes on their part. Few mistakes on the drivers’ part. Came out on the top.”


In LMP2 the majority of the field finished the race on the lead lap. The top of the pack completed 330 laps during the 12 hours of Sebring with the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 securing the win. Doubling down and backing up their in class win at Daytona this year. The race wasn’t a cake walk for the team by any means. With two hours left in the race the No. 18 found itself in 8th place which seemed like a feat the team wouldn’t overcome.

However, thanks to an incredible pit strategy on the final refuel from engineers Scott Besst and Nico Brisseau the team was able to pull out the final stint of the race and secure their second win of the season. Connor Zilisch, final driver had the following words, “It’s an honor for the team to trust me, give me the chance to go out there and show them what I have at the end,” Zilisch said after the race Saturday night. “Scott and Nico were on it with the strategy calls all day. It was really tough to pass out there. It was kind of just whoever could get track position, get to the lead, was going to end up winning.”

The No. 18 Era Motorsports LMP2 at the 2024 12 Hours of Sebring. Photo by Ramon Jones/Chroma Visual

Zilisch Continued

“At about an hour to go, we were all running in a train. I think I was seventh. I knew I wasn’t going to pass them, so I just started saving fuel, was going to wait for the last pit stop…I took the lead when I came back out. It takes a team effort. Ryan and Dwight did a great job. We kept the car clean all day.”

The LMP2s were flying in Sebring having only fallen behind the GTP class by 3 in number of the laps completed. Three LMP2s retired from the race with the first being the No. 88 Richard Mille AF Corse ORECA LMP2 07 after just 65 laps. The No. 08 Tower motorsports and the No. 99 AO Racing LMP2 cars also had to retire form the race.