The #8 Starworks Motorsport car played a leading role in hour 22 - Credit: James Boone

The #8 Starworks Motorsport car played a leading role in hour 22 - Credit: James Boone

Hour 22 of the 50th running of the Rolex 24 hours proved to be one of the most exciting closest battles of the race so far.

Heading in to the hour Ozz Negri and Allan McNish were pushing hard through the traffic. Pitstops would provide the #8 team a chance to leapfrog the #60 car as McNish came in to the pits on the back of Negri's bumper. The Starworks Motorsport team turned the pitstop around quicker as the Michael Shank Racing team changed drivers.

A brief period saw the #01 Graham Rahal car out in the lead with the #60 Allmendinger car running ahead of the #8 McNish's car. This would only last a lap with Rahal pitting and Allmendinger resuming the lead.

McNish took the initiative in traffic on the banking to take the lead from Allmendinger , the #60 driver would try to retaliate through turns 1 and 2 a few laps later with a brave move around the outside of McNish, it wouldn't pay off as the Scotsman shut the door.

A change of position would come as the result of a side by side battle on the banking with Allmendinger and McNish touching at the exit of NASCAR Turn 2, Allmendinger would come out in front just before a full track caution period was called to clear debris from the chicane.

Pit stops would provide more changes as Scott Pruett came out on top in the #01 car, while Allmendinger slotted in to second and Luhr, who took over from McNish came out third.

A move on the restart saw Allmendinger take the lead around the outside of turns 1 and 2 with Pruett moving back in to second.

The GT class battle was being fought between the Porsches of #67, #59 and #44, various lead changes throughout the hour would see Leh Keen move in to the lead at the end of the hour just before a full course caution was called to retrieve the Porsche of Marco Holzer which has suffered rear suspension failure.

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona DP class standings after Hour 18

1. #60 Michael Shank Racing – Allmendinger/Negri/Pew/Wilson
2. #01 Chip Ganassi Racing – Hand/Pruett/Rahal/Rojas
3. #8 Starworks Motorsport – Dalziel/Luhr/McNish/Popow/Potolicchio
4. #6 Michael Shank Racing – Goncalvez, McDowell/ Nasr/Yacaman
5. #02 Chip Ganassi Racing – Dixon/Franchitti/McMurray/Montoya

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona GT class standings after Hour 18

1. #59 Brumos Racing – Davis/Haywood/Keen/ Lieb
2. #44 Magnus Racing – Lally/Lietz/Potter/Rast
3. #63 Risi Competizione – Bruni/Fisichella/Matos
4. #67 TRG – Bertheau/Bleekemolen/Goossens/Henzler/Pumpelly
5. #57 Stevenson Motorsports – Bremer/Edwards/Liddell