“On the restart Joey left a bit of a door and I took it three-wide through eleven,” Long said. “Then it was all about running because I knew Joey wouldn't be happy. We came from P8 and worked our way through a very competitive field.”
The GT battle throughout was as close as expected with eight different cars – three Ferraris, two Corvettes, two BMWs and the Flying Lizard Porsche – leading throughout. At one point, the top seven cars were running within seven seconds midway through the race.
Hand had taken the class lead with 33 minutes left when Long pitted for fuel only. He and Dirk Mueller finished second, just ahead of Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta.
Last year's race ended with Bergmeister and Corvette's Jan Magnussen running side-by-side to the checkered flag with the Corvette crashing in an emotionally charged finish.
“It was definitely a bit more relaxing for me,” said Bergmeister, who got to watch this year. “I knew Patrick would do a good job because he has been good all week long. There were some who thought it wouldn't work out because the BMW was charging but I knew that Patrick would work it out and pull away.”
Level 5 Motorsports' trio of Christophe Bouchut, Mark Wilkins and Scott Tucker won in the LMP Challenge class, repeating their victory from the opening round at Sebring. Bouchut crossed the finish line 7.105 seconds ahead of Genoa Racing's Tom Sutherland, who drove with Tom Weickardt and Kyle Marcelli.
“It's a nice feeling to win again,” Bouchut said. “It was a great race, and this time we had to fight really hard until the end. The car was working really well. We had no problems at all. I just pushed the car to the maximum to keep our position.”
It was nip-and-tuck the whole way between the Level 5 and Genoa ORECA FLM09s. The Level 5 car led 115 laps and the Genoa entry led 114.
“We had to push really hard to keep up front,” said Wilkins, who has won in both his Series starts. “Christophe drove a great stint, so did Scott to keep the car up there. Level 5 gave us a great car at Sebring and they did here. We knew if we could run to the end we'd be right there.”
The victory also gave Tucker and Bouchut the class championship lead over Green Earth Team Gunnar's Gunnar Jeannette and Elton Julian. They placed third in class with Christian Zugel.