Baring any surprises, with over an hour left at the American endurance classic, it was obvious that the No. 10 diesel-powered Peugeot driven by Loic Duval would take the checkered flag. With the win, Peugeot successfully defended its victory from 2010.
Holding off Peugeot from a one-two win wasn’t long-time rival Audi, but the Highcroft Racing Honda Performance Development car, driven across the finish line by Simon Pagenaud. The No. 8 Peugeot pitted in the last hour of the race giving P2 to the Honda car, and almost regained that spot in the final laps. Pagenaud pulled out some impressive lap times as the clock ticked down, holding off the third-place Peugeot driven by Franck Montagny. Making the dual all the more exciting is the fact that Pagenaud will spend much of the rest of the year racing for the French automaker in Europe.
Meanwhile in the GT Class the impressive performance by numerous Ferrari machines in qualifying didn’t lead to a similar race result. The top place Ferrari finished just 5th, and it wasn’t one of the new 458s either, but an older 430GT model.
BMW took both the first and second spots in the hotly contested GT class, with Joey Hand driving the No. 56 M3 GT across the finish line, followed by the No. 55 of Dirk Werner, marking the first time since 1998 BMW Motorsport was victorious at Sebring.
Topping out the podium was the No. 03 Corvette C6 ZR1, with the No. 04 Corvette Racing car taking fourth. Porsche’s best result was a distance sixth place finish.
The 12 Hours of Sebring marks the start of both the Le Mans racing season in Europe and North America. The next race in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) takes place in Long Beach, California on the weekend of April 15-16.