Brazilian Driver Going for Fourth Career Victory in America’s Oldest Sport Car Endurance Race Nov. 14
Brazilian driver Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani is going for his third straight win, and fourth of his career, at the 68th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts on Nov. 14.
Driving the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac prototype, Derani will be among the top contenders at Sebring, which was rescheduled to November from its traditional March date. This year’s Sebring race has added significance since it will be as the season finale of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. The race begins at 10:10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14.
Only once in the seven decades of racing at the famed Florida endurance race has a driver won overall three straight years. Belgian driver Olivier Gendebien accomplished that by winning 1959-1961. Derani has actually already won three consecutive races at Sebring by virtue of his win in a July sprint race when he co-drove with Felipe Nasr to a dominating win. However, three straight wins in the 12-hour race would be a remarkable accomplishment for the 28-year old.
“I think this place likes me,” Derani said after winning the Cadillac Grand Prix in July. “Today is my fourth [Sebring] win in five attempts. It wasn’t the 12 Hours today, but I can go for three straight in November. I really love this track.”
Derani is also in contention for the IMSA Daytona Prototype International (DPi) season championship. Acura drivers Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves lead the championship by just two points over Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac drivers Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande. Derani is in third just nine points behind the leader heading into the finale.
Derani won his first Sebring 12-Hour race in 2016 driving a Honda-powered prototype with Johannes Van Overbeek, Ed Brown and Scott Sharp. He won his second 12-hour classic in 2018 aboard a Nissan prototype with co-drivers Van Overbeek and Nicolas Lapierre. His third win came in 2019 driving the Whelen Cadillac with Nasr and Eric Curran.
Only 10 drivers have won America’s oldest sports car endurance race three or more times. Tom Kristensen (6), Rinaldo Capello (5), Frank Biela (4) Allan McNish (4), Derani (3), Mario Andretti (3), Phil Hill (3), Olivier Gendebien (3), Hans Stuck (3) and Marco Werner (3).
Six races will be contested over four days at Sebring, with the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120, and two races each for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo series to be run on Nov. 13. Gates open at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11.