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Hertz Team JOTA snatches a breathtaking victory

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Twelve ORECA 07s took the start in the 1000 Miles of Sebring in Florida yesterday for the kickoff of the 11th FIA WEC season. The top step on the podium was up for grabs until the last laps of the eight-hour race, culminating in victory for Hertz Team JOTA’s ORECA 07.

The action in the LMP2 class went down to the wire with five cars in the same minute an hour and 15 minutes from the chequered flag and the podium undecided until the final stretch!

Hertz Team JOTA drivers Yifei Ye, Will Stevens and David Beckmann triumphed after a strategic pit stop 11 minutes from the finish for a final refuelling, perfecting the splash and dash technique to secure the win ahead of opponents Lubin/Hanson/Albuquerque in the United Autosports team’s #22 ORECA 07.

Prema Racing’s #63 was a contender for victory until the car had to box almost three minutes from the end of the race, finishing third despite impressive stints by drivers Doriane Pin, Daniil Kvyat and Mirko Bortolotti.

Inter Europol Competition’s #34 ORECA 07 started the season off well, claiming the fourth spot in the classification at the end of the 230-lap race. WRT will be seeking revenge at the next round in Portugal after the team’s #41 and #31 ORECA 07s finished fifth and seventh.

JOTA’s sister car slipped into sixth place and Prema Racing’s other car, initially a candidate for the podium, ended the race in the eighth spot after contact damaged its splitter.

The Hypercar winner in 2022, Alpine Elf Endurance Team is fielding two Alpine A470s in the LMP2 class this year. The #36, in the top 5 for a considerable time, passed under the chequered flag in ninth place after being delayed with a coil problem. The #35 was forced to retire due to electronic failure.

Vector Sport’s #10 ORECA 07 rounded out the top 10, earning its first points of the season.

Pole-sitter, and race leader for awhile, United Autosports’ #23 saw all its hopes for victory dashed in the fourth hour thanks to an improperly attached on-board camera that caused an irreparable electrical failure.

The kickoff to the 2023 FIA WEC season was a thrill ride with action on the track set to continue at the 6 Hours of Portimão on 16 April!

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