• Tim Fullbrook

Sebring 1000M Halfway: #8 Toyota leads, race red-flagged for heavy Lopez crash

The race is stopped within minutes of the halfway mark, Lopez walks away from rolled #7 Toyota

The #8 Toyota leads the 2022 Sebring 1000M as the first race of the WEC season came to a standstill following a major crash for the sister #7 GR010.

Lopez suffered damage to the front end of his car after collecting the #88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, the subsequent damage would see the Argentine unable to turn through T14 (Bishop), making heavy contact with the tyre barrier and rolling. The Toyota Hypercar held up in its first major incident during a race – driver, very fortunately, unharmed.

The incident deals a major blow to the Japanese marque who needed long green flag periods to help negate the pace advantage demonstrated by the #36 Alpine which has lead the majority of the race so far.

Class debutants, the #9 Prema Orlen Team lead the LMP2 class ahead of the two United Autosports Orecas.

The Italian team have displayed excellent pace in the first four hours to cycle through to the lead following the most recent set of pitstops.


Corvette lead the first race of their maiden WEC season-long campaign in convincing fashion, the #64 of Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner have been able to challenge the Porsche factory cars on pace across the first four hours.

A stellar opening stint by Milner, aided by a +15s penalty for both #91 and #92 Porsches for their behaviour at the race start, sees the GM brand lead at the time the red flag was called. First Kevin Estre's #92 Porsche was deemed to have left to greater distance to the back of the LMP2 grid at the race start, before Gimmi Bruni was penalised for not maintaining his position in the #91 at the end fo the formation lap.

AF Corse’s Ferraris have been unable to compete for the podium positions so far, lapping one to two seconds a lap slower throughout the course of a stint.

The #98 NorthWest AMR Aston Martin has dominated the GTE AM category, with a clean but fast opening stint from Paul Dalla Lana to set up the newest addition to the driver lineup David Pittard who set about extending the lead over the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin.

A clean start for Christian Ried saw the baton picked up by WEC debutant Seb Priaulx who's well-executed 60 lap stint seen the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche climb up the order to the top three in class.

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