Louis Deletraz Late-Race Pass Secures First GTP Win For Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti at Sebring

mobil 1 twelve hours of sebring winners 40 wayne taylor racing with andretti, acura arx06 gtp jordan taylor louis deletraz colton herta celebrate podium
Acura Captures First Overall Win at Sebring Michael L. Levitt/LAT

In the second year of the merger between Wayne Taylor Racing and Andretti Global, the two commanding forces from the world of IMSA and IndyCar scored their first win in their second car on Saturday night.

The No. 40 ARX-06 was piloted by Louis Deletraz, Jordan Taylor, and Colton Herta for the 72nd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. This was the first win for Acura in the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Andretti Global and Wayne Taylor Racing merged in 2023 to become Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti (WTRAndretti). After high hopes, the newly merged team had a slow start, going winless in their first combined season. 2024 saw significant growth for the new team as they added a second Grand Touring Prototype car to the grid.

The end of the 12-hour endurance race was a thriller as the cars were stacked behind a pilot car with less than 20 minutes remaining, forcing the leaders of each class within a second of their nearest competitors deep into the final run.

Deletraz was the driver for the No. 40 in the final run and lined up behind the No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac piloted by Sebastien Bourdais. With under six minutes remaining after several attempts, Deletraz found his line, flashed his lights, and, while exiting Sebring’s hairpin corner, dove to the inside to complete the pass for the lead.

Bourdais continued hot on the pursuit of Deletraz, reluctant to finish second, but in the end, did not have the opportunity to reclaim his position. Deletraz crossed the finish line after the clock expired 0.891 seconds ahead of Bourdais.

The 45-year-old Frenchman said after the race that the No. 40 was just too fast on new tires but also was quick to share his disappointment with how Deletraz raced him.

“They just came out like a rocket with new tires at the end,” Bourdais said in a statement. “I’m a little disappointed that it turned into a bumper car contest. I didn’t try to make any contact, but he sure banged us left, right, and center.”

The No. 40 was not in the top three on the speed chart until late in the race when they started to match the speed of the No. 1 Cadillac and the No. 7 Penske Porshe 936.

In the seventh hour of the race, with 210 laps completed, Pipo Deraini crashed out of the race while leading by a 12-second margin. Derani was chasing his fifth win in the 12 Hours of Sebring and second consecutive. This crash opened up the race to the rest of the GTP teams.

As the most veteran driver on the team, this was Taylor’s third victory at Sebring and 34th in IMSA. Herta spends most of his time racing in IndyCar, third win and Deletraz second.

Deletraz, at 26 years old, is considered an up-and-comer in sports car racing and was the significant difference in the No. 40 performance from the start of the race until the end. He took the final restart in third and made quick work of the No. 7 before focusing on passing Bourdais.

“Louis won for us,” Taylor said post-race. “I think we were third on the last restart, and he drove the wheels off that Acura. Fantastic win and it was clean.”

“Incredible,” Herta said on his teammate’s drive. “That was all Louis at the end.”

LMP2

Eras Motorsports won their second consecutive endurance race in the LMP2 category as Ryan Dalziel, Dwight Merriman, and Connor Zilisch piloted the ORECA LMP2 No. 07 to victory. The trio crossed the finish line after 330 laps, 1.127 ahead of their closest competition, the TDS No. 11 ORECA.

At 17 years old, Zilisch is now undefeated in IMSA, winning 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. Zilisch is signed with Trackhouses Racing and is creating major buzz about what side of motorsports he’ll end up on in the long term.

Zilisch was paired with the more seasoned veterans of Dalziel, who collected his 15th career IMSA victory and second at Sebring, and Merriman now with five career wins in the series.

GTD PRO

The No. 57 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 car collected their victory by the smallest margin of the four classes. Driving duties were split between Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat, and Kyle Kirkwood. Vasser Sullivan won the championship last year but had a rough start at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Hawksworth crossed the line 0.121 seconds ahead of Davide Rigon, the final driver behind the Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3.

GTD

Winward stays undefeated in 2024 as Philip Ellis, Indy Dontje, and Russell Ward combined to win in their No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 314. This was Winward’s first win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

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