It’s hard to imagine an automaker like Ford hasn’t been in the winner’s circle at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 45 years.
But that streak has finally been broken with Marino Franchitti taking the overall win at this year’s 12 Hours of Sebring behind the wheel of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford EcoBoost Riley. At the halfway mark of the race, Franchitti was in fourth place driving the number-one Telcel Ford EcoBoost racer but managed to take the overall win when the checkered flag dropped. Franchitti was joined on the podium with co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, while the milestone win is also Chip Ganassi’s first Sebring victory. Franchitti crossed the finish line 4.682 seconds ahead of Ryan Dalziel’s Extreme Speed Honda ARZ-03b.
Porsche also saw success at this year’s 12 Hours of Sebring race, taking the win in the GTLM and GTD classes. The team of Jorg Bergmeister, Pat Long and Michael Christensen piloted the 911 RSR into the winner’s circle in the GTLM class while Andy Lally, John Potter and Marcus Seefried sealed the win in the GTD class behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT America.
“We were lucky the way the traffic went on the restart,” said Franchitti. “We found a sweet-spot at the end. It’s pretty big to bring Ford back to victory lane. To win overall is pretty special. This is certainly the biggest day in my career.”