António Félix da Costa (BMW) was the best Portuguese in the mythical 1000 miles of the World Championship of Resistance, finishing in 16th place a test won by the Toyota of the Spaniard Fernando Alonso.
Félix da Costa, who teamed up with Brazilian Augusto Farfus and Canadian Bruno Spengler, finished in seventh place in the LM GTE PRO category.
"Today we did not have the luck on our side and we ended up falling in the classification due to situations of virtual safety car and also yellow flags, which came at the wrong time for us," began to explain the pilot of Cascais.
"The races are the same and sometimes it's favorable, sometimes it's lost and that's the case today. Still, BMW's balance is positive, both cars were in the podium fight and the fact that the other car had finished second shows that we are competitive for the races that come there and especially in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the great race of the year, where we want to be in a position to fight for victory, "concluded Felix da Costa.
The race, played mostly at night, was affected by heavy rain in the last half hour.
Fernando Alonso, along with Swiss Sébastien Buemi and Japanese Kazuki Nakajima, dominated the American race, especially since the other Toyota, of the Argentine Pechito Lopez, Japanese Kamui Kobayashi and the British Mike Conway, crashed into an Aston Martin and lost four minutes in the pits to repair the damages in the bodywork.
The former two-time Formula One world champion finished with 8: 00.38.186 hours, leaving the runners-up one lap away.
With this victory, Fernando Alonso's team extended the lead ahead of the championship, as Sebring is 32 points clear of the winner, 23 points to the second, with an additional point for pole position, now having 120 points against 105 of the second Toyota.
In case of victory in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorschamps, on May 2, and of desistance of the team of Pechito Lopez, Alonso can celebrate the world-wide title of resistance still before the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The other Portuguese, Pedro Lamy, who shared Aston Martin with Canadian Paul Dalla Lana and Austrian Mathias Lauda, was 27th overall, 34 laps from the winner, ninth in the GTE AM category.