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Porsche endures at 12-hour Sebring

It may not be home to David Murry.

But it's just as sweet.

Murry, 37, won the 1994 Firestone Firehawk 12-hour Endurance Championship at Sebring International raceway with a time of 12 hours, 1 minute, 2.6 seconds on Saturday night and his team captured the $5,500 purse in the final race of the season sanctioned by International Motor Sports Association.

"This is as sweet as being at home," said Murry, who captured the Firestone Firehawk Endurance Driver's Points Championship for the season. "My car owner, Henry Hawkins, had three Porsches here and I knew the chances were good we could finish high."

After his teammates Hawkins, Boris Said and John O'Steen handed Murry the lead with about 3{ hours remaining in the race, he kept it, maintaining a slight edge over the Canadian team of Ludwig Heimrath, Rick Bye and Harry Hatch. The margin of victory was 5.5 seconds.

Three teams were on the same lap during the final two hours of the race on the 3.7-mile circuit.

With less than an hour left, Murry pulled in for a pit stop during the sixth cautionary flag of the day and lost the lead to Bye. After the cautionary flag was removed, Murry quickly regained the lead around the 232nd lap.

"That pit stop was planned and it worked out okay but it was tense," Murry said.

It was the first time that Murry has won a Driver's Points Championship and the fifth race he has won since the season began last March in Sebring. He also won at Laguna Seca, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Phoenix, Ariz., and at Sebring with other teams.

"Our focus was on winning the Manufacturers' Championship for Porsche," said Murry, whose team was one of three Porsche teams that took the top three spots and stayed in front from the fourth hour of the race. "Whatever else of it was going to be icing on the cake."

The race had six cautionary flags and four minor accidents. Ed Gaven suffered a compound fracture to the left leg and bruised ribs. Later, Rob Wilson was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

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