Earl Bamber scored his first win as a Chip Ganassi driver, winning the 12 Hours of Sebring despite a rather awful final hour.
The No.2 CGR Cadillac was the team’s sole hope in the race as the sister car developed transmission problems on lap one.
Bamber and the No.2 car didn’t look like race-winning contenders until the last few hours.
Once the sun had gone down and the track became cooler, the No.2 really showed its legs.
Thanks to a mega stint by Alex Lynn, Bamber was handed control of the car with a big lead and victory in sight.
All he had to do was run a clean, uninterrupted race and the win would be his.
But Bamber had slightly different thoughts.
He ensured winning wouldn’t be so easy, losing the lead twice.
First, he clipped an LMP3 car and spun. That earned him a drive-through penalty.
Then, just seconds after taking back the lead, Bamber made contact with a GTD Ferrari and slipped back to second again.
Still, the Kiwi had pace in hand. With 45 minutes on the clock, Bamber took advantage of erstwhile leader Richard Westbrook being held up by a lapped car and retook the lead.
“I did some of my best driving and some of my worst driving in the space of two stints today,” Bamber told Autosport.
From there, Bamber steadied the ship, easing home to a six-second victory.
“I made a meal of it to be honest, because we should have won by 30 or 35s,” he said. “I made life difficult for myself.”
The Kiwi is now fourth in the driver’s championship after two races.
For the first time, Corvette won in GT Daytona Pro. After 12 Hours, the final margin between the winning No.3 car and the No.64 Lamborghini was 4.4 seconds.
Two days earlier, IMSA awarded Corvette an additional 20 horsepower as they feared the car might be too slow in the race.
Ferrari romped home to a crushing 49-second win in GT Daytona.
IMSA heads to Long Beach in two weeks for round three of the season.