The closest finish in 67 years of 12-hour sportscar races at legendary Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway Saturday was all that separated the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team featuring co-drivers Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Matthieu Vaxivière from a history-making trifecta of consecutive victories at North America’s three most iconic endurance marathons.
After the team’s back-to-back victories in the 2018 season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and this year’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the driving trio put nary a wheel off the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring road circuit all day and well into the night, and Taylor crossed the finish line a mere 1.030 seconds behind the race-winning No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Filipe Nasr, Eric Curran and Pipo Derani in the closest finish in the history of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
It was the Konica Minolta Cadillac team’s second consecutive runner-up finish at Sebring and third consecutive top-two result at the Central Florida circuit, where it won the 2017 12-hour race at the hands of Taylor, his older brother Ricky Taylor, and Alex Lynn of Great Britain en route to that year’s driver and team championships.
On the heels of its Rolex 24 win the final weekend in January with the all-star driver lineup of Taylor, van der Zande, Formula One veteran Fernando Alonso and former Formula One and current FIA World Endurance Championship regular Kamui Kobayashi, today’s runner-up finish was a tremendous achievement in itself considering an unscheduled pit stop during the opening laps to correct an overheating problem and subsequent pit-road speeding penalty dropped the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R to the back of the 38-car field.
But persistence and successful strategy calls carried it to the front of the pack for the latter half of the race and put Taylor in position to steal the victory during a final restart with just seven minutes remaining after dogging Nasr and the No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R for the final two hours.