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CGRFS wins in 12 Hours of Sebring debut

2014 - Sebring 12 Hrs - Podium

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) made its way to victory lane Saturday night in the 62nd 12 Hours of Sebring as the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley with drivers Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, and Marino Franchitti finished first overall in the team’s first attempt in the 25-year history of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. The No. 02 Big Machine Records/Comfort Revolution Ford EcoBoost Riley with drivers Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, and Sage Karam finished sixth and took top honors in the Patrón Endurance Cup for the Prototype (P) class and the season-ending $100,000 bonus.

Both CGRFS cars showed speed during the practice sessions on Thursday and Friday with at least one car finishing first in three of the four sessions. Pruett qualified the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley ninth (1:53.456) and started the race by making a quick move up to the eight position in the first hour. Hour three produced another yellow that allowed Rojas to take over the wheel and jump to the fifth position.

2014 - Sebring 12 Hrs - Winners CelebrationFranchitti entered the cockpit in the sixth hour and advanced the No. 01 car up to the third position. Hour eight would show another driver change with Pruett stepping in again, until Franchitti would take back over for the team’s final stint in hour 11. Great strategy played out for the No. 01 team as Franchitti had the No. 01 car in fifth position before a yellow in the final hour allowed him to move into the lead, while the frontrunners all pitted. With only 22 minutes remaining, the field went green and Franchitti held off the No. 1 car in a battle for the lead. He then went on to secure the victory by 4.682 seconds, marking the closest-finish in race history.

The No. 02 Big Machine Records/Comfort Revolution Ford EcoBoost Riley qualified sixth (1:53.098) at the hands of Scott Dixon. The car showed strength early and jumped to the lead in hour three with Dixon at the wheel. He would hold onto that lead until he pitted in hour four, giving way for Karam to make his Sebring debut. Karam took the No. 02 car from the third position to the first position in his opening lap. Kanaan took control of the No. 02 car in hour six and moved up to the lead in his opening stint. Hour 10 saw the No. 02’s final driver change, as Dixon made his way up to the third position in hour 11 before another car forced him off track and back to sixth place, where the No. 02 Big Machine Records/Comfort Revolution Ford EcoBoost Riley would cross the finish line.

Jamie Allison – Ford Racing Director: “You read about stuff like this. The last time Ford won overall was in 1969 and what really makes it so sweet is that this is a win made possible by a production-based Ford EcoBoost. Literally it comes out of our production vehicle. It just makes it so, so sweet because it validates what we do at Ford, that the technology we have in our cars is good enough to power an all- out win here at the 12 Hours of Sebring.”

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