Mar 20, 2023
It was an unlucky turnout for Winward Racing and drivers Russell Ward, Philip Ellis and Indy Dontje at the 71st Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
It was a routine weekend for the team throughout all four practice sessions, despite several incidents and red flags in Thursday’s night practice. Philip Ellis qualified the No. 57 Mercedes AMG GT3 on Friday morning and secured P2 in class with a 1:59.83 lap time, until the car failed its post-qualifying technical inspection, condemning it to start in the back of the pack – An identical fate to what the team saw during their first entry in the iconic race at last year’s 12 Hour.
Also similar to what the team saw last year - It didn’t take long for the team to recover from the tech failure that sent the car to the back of the starting field. By hour 3, the Winward Mercedes was once again in the front fighting for a GTD podium finish.
Unfortunately, the car took damage to the front right wheel in a battle for the lead, and retired after 198 laps and almost 8 hours.
Winward will continue their fight in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup at Watkins Glen International in early July. The team is excited to move on to their first sprint race of the 2023 WeatherTech Championship season in Long Beach (April 14th-15th) with Ward and Ellis.