SEBRING, Fla. (AP) — Sebastien Bourdais grabbed the lead on a restart with 19 minutes remaining in the Twelve Hours of Sebring then held off a furious challenge from the defending winner Saturday night to give JDC-Miller Motorsports the victory in the IMSA sports car endurance event.
Bourdais was missing the rear wing on his Cadillac DPi when he crossed the finish line 1.435 seconds ahead of Harry Tincknell in the Multimatic Motorsports entry. Tincknell was part of the winning Mazda team last year at Sebring, which was run in November instead of its traditional March date because of the pandemic.
Kamui Kobayashi crossed the finish line third in the No. 48 Cadillac for Action Express Racing but the team was expected to be dropped to the back of the DPi class because of a drive-time infraction,. It would move Dane Cameron and Meyer Shank Racing onto the podium.
Bourdais was part of an all-French driver lineup that included Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval that gave the team its first win since 2018. Bourdais and Duval are two-time winners at Sebring, while Vautier won for the first time.
Jimmie Johnson returned for his second IMSA race of the season but the seven-time NASCAR champion had a rocky weekend. He’s the central driver in the No. 48 Cadillac that is sponsored by Ally, his sponsor his final two NASCAR seasons, and fielded by both Hendrick Motorsports and Action Express.
Johnson crashed the Cadillac in Friday qualifying, then spun the repaired car 15 minutes into the race to damage it again. A wing change put the No. 48 back into contention until IMSA ruled the team violated drive time regulations when Simon Pagenaud was in the car 50 seconds too long during a six-hour window.