Halfway through the Twelve Hours of Sebring, Ferrari continues to dominate the GT Daytona class in the season-ending event for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Cooper MacNeil, Jeff Westphal and Alessandro Balzan have all taken lengthy turns at the front in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
Due to the change to Eastern Standard Time and the move from March to November, the event will have two more hours of darkness than . The Scuderia Corsa team is ready for the change from the hot and humid conditions to running in darkness.
"The WeatherTech Ferrari feels OK," Balzan said. "The car is great at the beginning and then the last 20 minutes it is hard to drive. I am going to tell my teammates the feedback and tell them to respect the bumps. We've got it setup for nighttime, so we welcome the darkness.”
MacNeil started fifth and cycled to the lead by the end of the opening hour. However, an untimely caution put the Ferrari off-sequence and MacNeil last in the 13-car class after pitting under the yellow. Despite struggling with the heat, MacNeil patiently worked his way back to second place when he pitted just past the two-hour mark in the race, turning the car over to Westphal.
Westphal returned to the race in ninth, but was up to second after a multi-car incident at the three-hour mark scrambled the GTD field. He quickly took the lead, holding it until his pit stop at the 3:35 mark. Balzan quickly regained the lead and held it for one hour before the team returned the car to MacNeil under caution.
MacNeil led at the restart and paced the field throughout his stint, pitting at the 5:45 mark to return Westphal to the wheel.
"The temperature is perfect for our WeatherTech Ferrari right now," MacNeil said. "The cooler the temperature the more the car comes alive. It is cooling down now. The car felt great my whole last stint. Alessandro came in with the lead. Through the pit stops I was able to get back to the lead and keep a gap. We look good right now, but a long way to go."
Racing resumed just prior to the six-hour mark where Westphal was able to gain a position at the restart and was running third at the halfway point.There’s plenty of racing remaining, with the sun setting at 5:33 p.m. The race is set to take the checkered flag at 10:10 p.m. ET.