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12 Hours of Sebring : Rahal and Mass Win as Holbert Car Falters

March 22, 1987|Associated Press

SEBRING, Fla. — Bobby Rahal and Jochen Mass, sharing a 962 prototype, took the lead with less than two hours remaining in the Sebring 12-Hours IMSA Camel GT race and went on Saturday to give Porsche its 12th consecutive victory in America's oldest sports car endurance event.

Rahal, the 1986 Indy 500 winner, and Mass, a West German endurance star, grabbed victory away from the 962 of Chip Robinson and Al Holbert, which led for more than eight hours before a broken turbocharger forced a costly stay in the pits with 1 hour 29 minutes left.

It took only nine minutes to replace the turbo, but by the time Robinson drove the car back onto the 4.11-mile Sebring International Raceway circuit, Rahal came from two laps down to take a three-lap lead.

Rahal, who drove the last two hours, crossed the finish line two laps plus 1:53.710 ahead of Robinson to collect the $50,000 first prize.

The winners completed 298 laps, and covered 1,224.78 miles, averaging 101.859 m.p.h.

Robinson and Holbert took the lead in the third hour, on lap 69, and held it for 191 trips around the treacherous course, until their turbo problem. Rahal took over on lap 259.

Third place went to the 962 of Englishman Brian Redman, Chris Kneifel and Elliott Forbes-Robinson, who were five laps down.

Sarel van der Merwe of South Africa, John Winter of West Germany and Danny Ongais were fourth in another 962, followed by Greg Pickett and Tommy Riggins finished fourth overall in a Chevrolet Camaro, winning the GTO division.

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