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IMSA Sebring 12 Hours

McLaughlin revels in IMSA LMP2 glory at Sebring

IndyCar star and former Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin was thrilled to win the LMP2 class in the 12 Hours of Sebring, only his second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start.

Podium P2: #8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07: John Farano, Scott McLaughlin, Kyffin Simpson

He and co-drivers Kyffin Simpson and Tower Motorsports team owner/driver John Farano – reigning LMP2 champion – bounced back from a mid-race shunt to clinch victory, just two races after the squad also triumphed in another IMSA endurance, the 2022 Petit Le Mans.

At quarter distance in Sebring, Farano lay fourth for Tower Motorsports, while at the halfway point, the Crowdstrike Racing by APR entry – which ultimately led the most laps in class – was heading the LMP2 field, ahead of PR1 Mathiasen MotorSports, while Tower was up to third after a strong couple of stints from McLaughlin.

Then Simpson ran a little wide exiting Turn 1, leading to a spin across the track into the Turn 2 tirewall that caused severe-looking bodywork damage. Yet the Indy NXT pilot was able to limp the car to the pits where the team discovered the issues were only cosmetic. And because the repairs were carried out under a full-course caution, the #8 car remarkably didn’t lose a lap and only dropped one place. 

Thereafter, the team fought back into contention and was up to second at three-quarter distance.

#8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07: John Farano, Scott McLaughlin, Kyffin Simpson

#8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07: John Farano, Scott McLaughlin, Kyffin Simpson

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

After the final round of pitstops, McLaughlin found himself in the lead, holding off PR1’s Paul-Loup Chatin following the penultimate restart. He then repeated the exercise in the last two restarts, holding off arguably the quickest LMP2 driver, Mikkel Jensen of TDS Racing, to clinch victory by under one second.

Such was the attrition in the GTP class that the LMP2 Oreca was placed third overall.

That helped make up for the team’s misfortune at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, when McLaughlin, fellow IndyCar ace and teammate Josef Newgarden, Farano and Simpson had to fight from several laps down after early trouble to eventually salvage fifth.

“It’s not just me, it’s the bounce-back from the whole team,” McLaughlin said after his Sebring triumph. “Daytona was a tough one, as we all know, but Kyffin drove well today, as well as John. They really put us on the right path…

“Our guys got the car back together after our little guy’s misdemeanor. We’ll let him off the hook now.

“I’m really proud of everyone on the team. The strategy at the end was just incredible. Glad I could hold them off for them.”

The team stated: “This was an intense day, but our crew and drivers put their heads down and got the work done. From record-breaking pit stops, to mega stints by all our drivers, we can all be extremely proud of the show we put on today, and we hope you enjoyed it just as much as we did!

“Thank you to our hardworking team that never loses focus, we got it done.”

McLaughlin later posted to Twitter:

 

 

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