Pipo Derani won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring for a fourth time Saturday night, topping the results Saturday night with co-drivers Jack Aitken and Alexander Sims when Action Express Racing inherited the victory after a crash among the top three with less than 20 minutes remaining.

The No. 31 Cadillac started from the pole but bounced throughout the GTP field in a 12-hour race of attrition at Sebring International Raceway.

Aitken, the endurance driver for Action Express, was running fourth when Wayne Taylor Racing crashed with both the Porsche Penske Motorsport entries.

WTR Acura driver Filipe Albuquerque tried to squeeze inside Mathieu Jaminet for the lead, but Jaminet had to swerve low to avoid lapped traffic, and contact with Albuquerque knocked the Acura off the track.

Albuquerque sped through a grassy turn and returned to the racing surface, only to slam directly into Jaminet. It caused a multicar crash that collected Felipe Nasr, running third in the second Porsche Penske Motorsport entry.

Aitken, a British racer and reserve driver in Formula One, closed out the victory for Action Express in his second career IMSA sports car race.

“Obviously it was quite tricky in the end. There’s a lot going on,” Aitken said. “We were struggling a lot with the tires at the end and it’s not the way you want to win the race, but we were there when we needed to be and kept it clean.”


Derani, who won the pole in the Cadillac V-Series.R, was thrilled to claim a fourth win after he crashed early in the race when he was caught behind a spinning LMP3 car with nowhere to go. After managing to stay on the lead lap despite significant damage requiring a front wing change, Derani and the No. 31 remained in the hunt and vaulted back into first with less than five hours remaining on a swift pit stop.

Derani felt for the leaders, who were in a three-car battle until their race-ending crash in the waning minutes of the race.

“I’m sorry for the guys who crashed, they did an amazing race, but, you know, you’ve got to be lucky a little bit in motorsports,” the Brazilian said. “We had a flawless race after the incident in the beginning, we recovered well, so just fantastic to be here for number four.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing finished second in a BMW M Hybrid V8 with a lineup of Connor de Phillippi, Nick Yelloly and Sheldon Van Der Linde.

There was so much attrition in the top GTP class that the third place overall went to the Tower Motorsports LMP2 entry that included IndyCar star Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske in just his second IMSA sports car race.

The No. 8 Tower ORECA LMP2 07, which also includes John Farano, came back to win after Kyffin Simpson, a development driver in IndyCar, crashed earlier in the race.

“Young bloke Kyffin drove well, so did John, but our team really put us on the right path to get our car together after our little guy’s misdemeanor,” McLaughlin said. “We will let him off the hook now that we’re in victory lane.”

Other class winners:

LMP3: No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 with Felipe Fraga, Gar Robinson and Josh Burdon

GTD Pro: No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) with Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet and Laurens Vanthoor

GTD: No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 with Corey Lewis, Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 14-15.


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