Campbell wins action-packed 12 Hours of Sebring
By Mat Coch
Monday 22nd March, 2021 - 8:34am
Matt Campbell has claimed class victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring, the second round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.
Campbell combined with Cooper MacNeil and Mathieu Jaminet at the wheel of a Porsche 911 RSR to take GTLM class honours by a lap.
Their cause was aided by the #3 Corvette C8.R and #25 BMW M8 GTE tangling with eight minutes to run.
Both went off in the collision, with Connor De Phillippi penalised with a drive-through for his role in the affair.
“Going to Turn 7, I think the BMW had a chance and it looked like the Corvette didn’t close the door that much,” said Jaminet.
“The BMW just dove in, was maybe a little bit optimistic on the brake.
“When I came to the corner, they were more or less side-by-side and just touching and hitting each other.
“They had big contact and I had to avoid the BMW, which was going to the other side of the track.
“So, I went left straight in the grass.
“I got really lucky there because I think it was pretty close with the BMW to being a big crash.
“It was a little bit of a crazy fight, let’s say.”
Jaminet and his co-drivers were classified eighth overall at the chequered flag in a race won by Sebastien Bourdais, Loic Duval, and Tristan Vautier.
Damage to the rear wing on the JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi-V.R made for a nervous conclusion for Bourdais.
A restart inside 20 minutes remaining left the Frenchman vulnerable to the chasing Harry Tincknell as he circulated two seconds a lap off the outright pace.
Bourdais managed to hang on and take the win, seeing off the advances of Tincknell by 1.4s at the flag.
Earlier in the race, Scott Dixon and De Philippi collided as the former headed to the pits with just over an hour left.
Leading the race at the time, a late call resulted in a scramble to make pit entry, the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R sustaining a broken toe link in the clash.
Kamui Kobayashi also featured towards the front of the race in the final moments, though a driving time infringement for Simon Pagenaud during his stint meant the Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R they shared with Jimmie Johnson was classified last in class.
They dropped two laps as a consequence and fell to fifth in the final results.
Other class winners included Scott Huffaker, Ben Keating and Mikkel Jenson in LMP2, the trio hanging on to a narrow win after holding a lap advantage for a large part of the race.
LMP3 was taken out by Colin Braid, Jonathan Bennett, and George Kurtz while GTD went the way of Laurens Vanthoor, Lars Kern, and Zacharie Robichon in a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Success in GTLM and GT3 saw Porsche record its 100th class win in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Australian Scott Andrews picked up an LMP3 podium, finishing third with Gar Robinson and Spencer Pigot.
The IMSA SportsCar Championship heads to Mid-Ohio on May 14-16 for Round 3 of the season.