Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta will decide the championship winners in all four classes of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship today, with the ten hour race at Road Atlanta closing what’s been a thrilling season of North American sportscar racing.
The Checkered Flag will be providing you with updates throughout the race, courtesy of Jake Kilshaw, Connor Jackson and Adam Johnson.
Hello and welcome to The Checkered Flag’s live coverage of 2015 Petit Le Mans!
This is the eighteenth running of the 10 hour endurance classic at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA.
Today’s race closes the 2015 Tudor United SportsCar Championship season, and the championships in all four classes will be decided.
Heading into this race, Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante lead Prototype, whilst Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are out front in Prototype Challenge.
Patrick Pilet is the championship leader in GT Le Mans, and Christina Nielsen leads in GT Daytona by a single point.
Read TCF’s qualifying report here: http://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2015/10/richard-westbrook-secures-petit-le-mans-pole/
Richard Westbrook put his VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP on pole position.
Despite John Pew’s crash during practice, Michael Shank Racing will be entering the race, having had their car repaired at the nearby Elan Motorsports shop. The car is continuing to run the special Justin Wilson tribute livery this weekend.
Performance Tech Motorsports have failed to make it to the grid. Conor Daly crashed their PC car beyond repair during practice and so their weekend has ended sooner than expected.
Whilst Porsche North America had put their two cars on pole and second position in GTLM, they will start from the back of the grid. For the #911 car, they failed the ride height test, whereas the #912 car which was on pole but crashed during qualifying didn’t go to post-session inspection.
Championship leaders VisitFlorida.com Racing will start from overall pole position, whilst PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports will lead the PC field, thanks Tom Kimber-Smith’s impressive qualifying performance.
Due to the penalties given to the Porsche teams, it will be the #4 Corvette beginning from GTLM pole, whilst Riley Motorsports’ #93 car begins out front in GTD.
What makes this interesting is that the championship leaders in all but the top class all start from very far down the field, making their tasks even more difficult.
The rain is pouring down in Georgia. This could make for interesting strategy calls.
The third-placed #01 Chip Ganassi Racing DP has failed to show itself on the grid.
Safety car lights are out. 10 hours of racing will begin soon!
Joey Hand will start from pitlane in the #01 Chip Ganassi car.
And we are green!!!
Westbrook leads into turn one
VERY low visibility
Green flag for the GT start, Gavin leads
#11 RSR Racing now leading in PC.
Alex Popow drove into pitlane but didn’t stop.
A PC car is on the side of the track at T4, and a Ben Keating’s Viper is sent spinning by it, into the wall.
FULL COURSE CAUTION after 3m34 of running.
P – Westbrook #90
PC – Kimber-Smith #52
GTLM – Gavin #4
GTD – Lawrence #93
It was the #11 RSR Racing car of Chris Cumming that spun at the Esses, it enters the pits with heavy damage.
Keating’s #33 Viper didn’t fare too well, either. The rear end if very damaged and the bumper has been completely torn off.
Your class top threes are:
It’s been a polarising first part of the race for Riley Motorsports. One car leads the GTD class, the other is in the pitlane with heavy damage.
Westbrook once again leads Fittipaldi
Gavin passes Nunez, as the GT cars move past the prototypes
There’s an outside chance that something other than a Prototype class car could win. The GTLM front-runners aren’t too far off the P pace.
The #33 is back in the gravel, following its repair job.
I’ll hand you over to Adam Johnson who will continue the live coverage for the next stint.
Adam Johnson locking in here on TCF after a chaotic start to the Petit Le Mans 2015 – and we’re barely 30 minutes in!
Oliver Gavin leads GTLM in the #4 Corvette, and isn’t far off overall P pace – but he hasn’t got time to think about a shock victory, as Lucas Luhr’s #24 BMW hounds the big yellow ‘Vette.
The Porsche duo of Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy are on a tear – moving past Antonio Garcia and chasing down the top two in GTLM.
Drama in GTLM – just as Luhr takes the lead from Gavin, the #912 Porsche has hit pit road with Bamber potentially rolling the strategy dice?
No tires, just fuel for Bamber. We’ll see how that strategy goes – just 28 minutes in, a puzzling call?
Tandy up to SECOND now in GTLM, and only Ricky Taylor in the P class Corvette DP is faster than him right now – across all the classes!
Yes, you did read that right – Tandy was faster than EVERY other car on the track last lap bar the Prototype car of Taylor, including the top three overall! And he’s taken the GTLM lead in the blink of an eye!
Give that kid Tandy a cookie at the end of his stint – he seems pretty tasty! Wonder what he could do in the LMP1 Porsche…?
Bamber’s early pit stop has been explained – tape on the car was causing water temperature issues.
Remember, Tandy’s co-driver Patrick Pilet is your GTLM point leader going into today by just 3 points – and with points given out also at halfway, Tandy is giving that car a huge boost towards the GTLM title!
#70 Mazda P car of Tristan Nunez in and out of pit road – serious visibility issues, de-mister not working as planned. Seems to please Radio Le Mans pit reporter Shea Adam though, claiming that the Mazda ‘smells like french fries’ every time it leaves pit road. We’ll take your word for it…
Correction – points are awarded at halfway for the North American Endurance Cup, which includes this race as well as the Rolex 24 Hours, 12 Hours of Sebring and Six Hours of the Glen. Points for the overall TUDOR United Sportscar Championship are only awarded at the conclusion of the race.
Both Prototype Mazdas suffering bad visibility issues with mist on the windscreens. The DeltaWing also encountered issues with that, but their solution of a battery-powered hairdryer appears to be working so far. Very A-Team!
Top 4 is Prototype cars, then the GTLM top 4 are 5th through 8th overall. Top running LMPC car is Tom Kimber-Smith way down in 12th place overall.
Tandy’s mind-bending stint continues – he’s now FIFTEEN seconds clear in the GTLM lead, lapping in the 1:30s bracket, and is currently the fastest car on the track. Yes, faster even than ALL the Prototypes! Anyone have any idea what he had for breakfast?
Remember, the Porsches are using a very specific style of Michelin wet tire, and it’s working well right now – Tandy still flying, and hunting down the P class #10 Chevrolet of Ricky Taylor for 4th overall!
In Prototype then, Richard Westbrook is leading strongly over title rival Christian Fittipaldi in Prototype class, with Dane Cameron third.
#912 Porsche buried deep in the gravel! Hearing reports of a tire down…
‘What do you want me to do?’ Bamber exasperatedly asks his crew. ‘Try and get out?’ is the rather dry reply from his team – you don’t say, guys, but that Porsche looks fairly well buried. Full Course Yellow.
Dane Cameron in the #31 P car is in the pit lane for fuel only – but did they get in just before the FCY came out?
Replays are conclusive – left-rear tire gone down on the Porsche is what sent it off at Turn 1.
Closer views show damage to the wheel itself on Bamber’s #912 car – the plot thickens. Contact from another car?
We come to the end of the first hour under FCY – your class leaders after just under 1/10th distance in the 2015 Petit Le Mans:
P – Westbrook
PC – Kimber-Smith
GTLM – Tandy
GTD – Lawrence
Mass activity on pit lane – P and PC in first, GTLM and GTD in next lap.
Bamber has done what his team so bluntly told him to – got out of the gravel, and made it back to the pits.
The #912 team has done well to turn around that Porsche and get new Michelin rubber on it, but they don’t get out ahead of the safety car, meaning another lap lost. Ground to make up – anyone got a cloning machine to put a second Nick Tandy in there?
Three cars stayed out under these pitstops – Dane Cameron, Oz Negri, and Katherine Legge. All of those will stay out, get a wave-around to gain lost laps back, THEN pit in.
Bamber has dropped 3 laps overall. Never mind guys, still got nine hours to go to make those laps back up!
#63 Ferrari in GTD on pit lane, Jeff Seagal jumping back in after an opening stint by Bill Sweedler – after Seagal had already started the race then put Sweedler in early. Confused?
Green flag back out, let’s get back racing!
Oliver Gavin has put the #4 Corvette back up into 2nd, past the #24 BMW now in the hands of John Edwards.
Proof just how wet it is at Road Atlanta.
Ricky Taylor in trouble – Joey Hand in the #01 Ganassi Ford DP passes him at the final turn, and Nick ‘Stingray*’ Tandy is hounding the black #10 Chevrolet now.
* – one for the Gerry Anderson fans in here!
As that picture proves, it’s ‘English Bank Holiday’ wet out there at Road Atlanta – excellent driving all around from everyone to keep it clean, and Tandy’s performance so far is positively physics-bending!
*not to be confused with Gary Anderson, the darts player of course ;)
Battle for 2nd in GTLM is an aggressive sandwich, with Corvettes in the bread role and BMWs as the filling. Gavin leads Edwards, Auberlen holding off Garcia.
Auberlen and Edwards now lead Gavin and Garcia, as the BMW vs Corvette battle continues – all of this happening far behind Tandy though, which should be the BMW’s primary concern for the championship picture!
A stop-and-hold penalty for the #912 Porsche – did Bamber walk under a ladder on his way to the garage this morning? Things going from bad to worse for those guys, in stark contrast to Tandy’s flying run.
Nervous moments as the #54 LMPC car spins at the top of the esses, and remains parked on the race surface in a very dangerous area. Eventually Jon Bennett manages to get the car back going, and excellent evasive driving from the rest of the field to avoid the stricken PC car.
More drama at turn 1 – Oliver Gavin’s Corvette is nosed in! Drama in GTLM, the yellow missile was running 4th in class.
He’s in the grass as opposed to the gravel though, and Gavin is inching carefully out of grass.
Nice job by Gavin to extract that car out of the grass, although a lack of yellow flags was a bit of a worry. Gavin ran wide into Turn 1 and slid off up the hill, whacking the tire barrier with the left-side of the car. All systems look okay on that car for now, and no need for an FCY.
Also, in the P championship – Westbrook has regained the lead from Dane Cameron, after Cameron took the lead under the last FCY. Westbrook is your point leader going in to today, so this powerhouse drive so far is putting the #90 car one step closer to the 2015 P class title.
#73 Porsche of Spencer Pumpelly leads GTD – just – over long-time leader in the early going Cameron Lawrence in the #93 Viper.
Richard Westbrook has regained the lead in the P class.
This is where wet conditions get VERY interesting. Drivers potentially looking for a dry line to emerge; looks optimistic for now, but as soon as a dry line emerges and teams feel like they can dive onto dry tires, it becomes a game of bluff. Who blinks first?
Replay of the lead change – Westbrook going 3-wide through the middle down the hill into Turn 10, and slices up the inside of Cameron. Awesome move!
Two great championship drives so far from Westbrook and Tandy respectively – both helping their respective teams towards the titles in their classes. Goes without saying that the job isn’t even close to being done though…
Westbrook now has almost a 6 second gap as the #5 takes second place in the overall standings
Speaking of Tandy, the #911 has now moved up to 4th overall past Joey Hand’s P class car. Still managing to make such tough conditions look like a Sunday drive down a quiet B-road!
Dramas for the Turner Motorsport GTD BMW – spun into the grass at Turn 5, but the yellow and blue machine rejoins safely in the hands of Michael Marsal.
Time for a driver change of ourselves – Connor Jackson jumps in to the fray here on our TCF live blog!
Off goes #17 of Wolf Henzler runs wide as he grass tracks in the final sector
The #93 Dodge Viper GT3-R has taken the GTD lead, he’s still yet to pit
Meanwhile Nick Tandy continues to build his GTLM lead. He now has a 28 second lead over the #25
As the rain continues to poor the drivers settle for a long race
Change of position in the GTLM class, as the #17 Team Falken Tire takes fourth from Pierre Kaffer in the #62
Nick Tandy is driving another strong race, and is up to third overall in the #911 Porsche.
Drama as Christian Fittipaldi runs into the Gravel at turn 5. Full Course Yellow
He continued, but retook a position from one of the back markers. What will happen to #5 Corvette DP now
All of this has allowed Nicky Tandy in the #911 Porsche to take second overall
It turns out the Full Course Yellow was for track conditions as almost all the Prototype cars pit
The track dryers are on the circuit at turn 10a as the field pass
It’s now most of the GTLM cars in, as many drag race each other down the pit lane
As we approach the end of the second hour, the order has been turned on its head. Dane Cameron currently leads in the overall settings in the #31 Action Express Racing
8 Hours to Go: Leaders
P – #31 – Corvette DP
PC – #88 – Starworks Motorsport
GTLM – #911 – Porsche 911 RSR
GTD – #93 – Dodge Viper GT3-R
The #911 has kept the lead in GTLM, but the pitstops have meant they slip to sixth in the overall standings
Green Flag – We’re racing again
But on the restart, the #17 Falken Tire spins on the restart as the entire field are forced to go either side of him. He continues, but at the back.
The #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing does the same as he spins on the main straight. The team tell him to reverse on the main straight, he eventually recovers as a Full Course Yellow is called.
The pits are closed as the cars crawl round under the yellow.
Under the Yellows, the Marshals have come out on track, sweeping the mud off the track
The race director has gone out to assess the state of the circuit. Looks like racing may be limited for a little while
There’s concern over a river at turn 4, with a trench being dug as to drain the water off
A pit stop from the #93 Riley Motorsport who’s leading GTD.
That puts Townsend Bell in the #63 Scuderia Corsa into the GTD lead. That could have an affect on the championship
The #93 had issues selecting first gear. But could they be thinking an hour and a half into the future, as they look to extend their fuel stint
While the top four stay out. The other Prototype car of the #60 Michael Shank Racing decides to pit
With 7 and a Half Hours left, it’s time to welcome back TCF’s TUDOR Championship expert – Jake Kilshaw
We’re a quarter of the way through the race, and it’s certainly been an exciting one so far!
Dane Cameron remains in the lead as the FCY remains due to the conditions.
Cameron leads Taylor and Bourdais from the line.
Rockenfeller spins the #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing car, hitting the wall on the restart and beaching his car in the grass.
Remember – his co-drivers were leading the championship heading into this race. It goes without saying, this seriously damages their chances!
Full Course Caution
He’s attempting to rejoin, only just missing Cameron’s #31 car, and then spinning in the grass again.
Meanwhile, John Falb has crashed the #88 Starworks Motorsport PC entry as well.
Falb is out of the car and OK
Correction: Rockenfeller didn’t hit the wall, just picked up a lot of grass.
He’s got the car back underway, amusingly covered in grass.
Starworks’ #88 car is on the truck and heading back to the paddock.
Well this makes it much more difficult – a couple laps down but still a lot of race left!
— VisitFlorida.comRac (@sdrmotorsports) October 3, 2015
Still under yellow, let’s remind ourselves of the top threes:
P – #31, #10, #5
PC – #52, #16, #85
GTLM – #24, #911, #17
GTD – #63, #48, #64
The #90 VisitFlorida.com is heading into the pits. No handling problems, just “junk” in the air vents etc.
It’s confirmed – Jon Bennett and Colin Braun win the 2015 Prototype Challenge championship!
I’ll hand you back over to Adam Johnson for the restart, which looks to be any minute now.
Right, I’m back. Did I miss anything? Oh…
Strap yourselves in folks and get the snacks in, a tough race just got a helluva lot tougher! Back to green after a lengthy yellow, and conditions so bad Jordan Taylor describes his race as ‘just surviving’.
Sebastian Bourdais has moved the second AX Racing car up to 2nd, past the struggling JT. With the issues for the VisitFlorida.com #90 car, it looks to be between the AX cars for the 2015 P class title!
GTLM leader John Edwards showing how difficult conditions are out there, sliding it rallycross style through the Esses – best have spare underpants in the ready teams!
It’s a battle of pure bravery – Patrick Pilet in the #912 Porsche trying to take a swing at Edwards, but he nearly looses it too! Whoever finds grip where there is none will be your GTLM leader!
Excellent pass from Pilet to retake GTLM class lead, channelling the spirit of Nigel Mansell at Donington 1998! Fantastic stuff!
Good work for Porsche too over in GTD, with Robert Renauer completing a remarkable comeback to take the lead in that class – from 7th on the restart!
We’re under FCY again, and it’s the #60 Ligier that’s gone in hard with John Pew at the wheel. Bits of bodywork everywhere – bodywork that let’s not forget got fixed and back into the race after a huge shunt in night practice. Just not their weekend at all!
Good to see Pew out of the car and OK – the poor #60 Ligier doesn’t look good at all. Not been Michael Shank Racing’s year at all.
Also got the #85 PC car around at Turn 10. You can’t appreciate just how difficult the conditions are out there, and the drivers are working so hard to keep this race going. Shame Pew and the #60 car, still in the awesome Justin Wilson tribute livery, doesn’t look like it will be going much further.
Lot of drivers and pundits on Twitter advocating a red flag of the race. Seems like IMSA are desperate to keep this thing going, and their hard work should be praised. Straw poll from the drivers in the cars right now would be interesting…
Well here we go again – the green flag drops, and the drivers head out through hell and high water once again!
Unsurprisingly, Dane Cameron jumps out to a big lead off the restart. He’s the only one who can see where he’s going!
AX Racing still running 1-2, and the two other Prototypes near them contending are the Wayne Taylor Racing #10 Chevy and the Chip Ganassi Racing #01 Ford, the latter in the hands of Indycar champion Scott Dixon. A man who makes the most difficult of conditions look effortless – can Indycar’s Iceman carve a way to victory through the flood planes?
Corvettes on the comeback trail in GTLM, as Tommy Milner moves up into 3rd past John Edwards.
Pitstops underway for the #25 BMW in GTLM also – Werner out, and Augusto Farfus behind the wheel now.
Meanwhile down in the super-close GTD battle, point-leading car #007 TRG Aston Martin in the hands of Kuno Wittmer is up to 5th place in class now. Remember, co-driver Christina Nielson is gunning for a slice of history…
Edwards rotates at Turn 11 in the #24 BMW, gets it back going. Give that a 6.5…
Leading #31 Chevrolet in P class in and out of pit lane, Eric Curran now behind the wheel and Dane Cameron presumably having a well-earned snack and rest. Solid drive by Cameron – the championship is theirs for the taking, but in such conditions and with such a long way to go nothing is guaranteed!
Their teammates in the #5 car now lead, with Bourdais putting in a rock-solid job. Don’t believe the F1 hype – despite his unlucky stint there, Bourdais remains a world-class talent, and is a man used to wrapping up titles that go down to the wire!
So as an enthralling race is not even close to half distance, time for me to step aside and let the Master of Ceremonies Jake Kilshaw back into the hot (or rather, wet) seat!
Yes, it’s certainly surprising we’re not even halfway through yet!
But of course that’s a good thing – more racing can only be positive!
So, we’ve got Sebastien Bourdais out front overall, leading Jordan Taylor by 1.4 seconds. Scott Dixon is in third, ahead of a bunch of GTLM cars.
The laptime difference between the top P and GTLM runners is still barely a couple of seconds, so six of our nine runners on the lead lap are GTLM
Pilet is the most successful of the GTLM drivers at the moment, leading Milner’s Corvette.
In PC, it’s Andrew Palmer, in the #52 car that leads, whilst Marc Goossens’ #93 Riley Motorsports Dodge still heads the GTD field.
Complain about the rain all you want, but you’ve got to admit it’s keeping us on our toes! Predicting the result would be foolish.
Pilet has pitted from GTLM lead, handing that position and 4th overall to Milner.
Other cars heading into the pitlane, including Dixon and Henzler.
Jordan Taylor and Bourdais are also pitting.
The stop for the #10 Wayne Taylor car was long, but it’s back underway.
GTLM leads the race after Prototype pitstops. The top three are Milner, Magnussen and Edwards.
Taylor was passed by Curran in the pitstops. It’s an Action Express 1-2, but only in Prototype, as GTLM cars lead.
Yes, there have been four cautions so far, but remember – there were 13 last year!
John Edwards is pitting from third overall in the #24 BMW. Jens Klingmann steps in to the car.
Pilet has overtaken Bourdais on track!!!
It might not be too rare to see a Corvette DP 1-2, but we’ve currently got a Corvette GTLM 1-2. Milner leads Magnussen by 1.2 seconds.
Taylor (the Jordan variety) has overtaken Curran for fifth overall, and second in P. Bourdais leads the class.
Billy Johnson takes a very wide line in the #97 GTD BMW. Looks to be as a result of contact with PC #85 of Goikhberg.
#4 Corvette leads from absolute lead, swapping places with the sister #3
In the Corvette camp, Milner has been replaced by Gavin, and Magnussen by Garcia.
Leading now is Pilet’s #911 Porsche, whilst Bourdais has just passed Garcia on the pit exit, moving his P car into second.
Gavin and Garcia sit third and fourth, whilst J Taylor is fifth.
We can now say that the #911 car is leading laps on raw pace, not just due to pit stop cycles. We might see a GTLM winner tonight. You heard it here first!
Drive through penalty for the #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing makes their race even more miserable still. The reason is cited as “leaving pit box with equipment”.
Pilet has a lead of 20 seconds over Bourdais, but he lapped four seconds slower last time round.
Joel Miller spins the #07 Mazda at turn one, but rejoins. Whilst trying to avoid him, Memo Rojas spins as well.
Full Course Caution whilst the DeltaWing recovers.
Connor Jackson is on live blog duties now, whilst I get started on what will be a packed mid-race report.
The Full Course Yellow means that Bourdais has stopped catching Pilet in the #911, can he continue the momentum after the track is cleared
Memo Rojas is now out of the DeltaWing, he seems to be uninjured
The #0 has now caused the seventh FCY this race.
There’s intrigue arising as it seems the Prototypes will be called into the pits first. However; we still have a GTLM leading
Confusion throughout the field as to whether the GTLM or the Prototypes should be called in first. No action for the moment
Some Prototypes are in, the leader; #5, stays out though
Many of the GTLM and GTD’s are now in, but like the Prototypes, the leaders stay out, including the leader #911 Porsche 911 RSR
We may be approaching the half way point, but we’ve still got 11 cars from 2 classes on the lead lap. This is long away from being over!
The rain is apparently easing up. However; it may be too early to count your chickens, the track is still soaked
While the Yellow flag remains, we’ve got the trucks on track drying the circuit
Drying the circuit is maybe pushing it a bit… making it less wet maybe… #ImpossibleToMakeItDryIfItsRaining ;)
P – #5 Action Express Racing
PC – #52 Mathiasen Motorsport
GTLM – #911 Porsche 911 RSR
GTD – #44 Magnus Racing
GREEN GREEN GREEN
Pilet in the #911 pulls away. He’s using the clear air to his advantage
Prototypes continuing to struggle as the GTLM’s charge through the order
Disaster for Christina Neilsen as she’s fallen from second to eighth in the GTD class over the course of one lap.
It’s all change as the Prototypes are now coming into their own. Third place Jordan Taylor in the #10 is now 3 seconds quicker than the #911 leader
Neilson pits, she’s out of the car. Brandon Davies takes over in the #007 TRG-AMR
We have a new Leader; the #5 Corvette DP of Bourdais now in front
Jordan Taylor in the #10 follows him through, only 1.5 seconds down and running quicker. The battle is on!
In GTD, Andy Lally in the #44 Magnus Racing, Porsche leads by a comfortable 14 seconds
In these conditions, the Prototypes are thriving as the battle for the lead is now a two horse race between the leading #5 and the #10
There’s a call from some for the race to be stopped now we’re at the half way point. The weathers improving… for now
Missed the first half of the race? Where have you been? Catch up with our midway report here: http://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2015/10/petit-le-mans-midway-gtlm-porsche-pilet-leads/
FULL COURSE YELLOW … for the eighth time
No incident, but the weather is variable. How long will they continue
It could be tight in GTD’s as the championship contenders are equal on points
RED FLAG…. This may not be perminant
RED FLAG…. This may not be permanent
Cars are lining up in the pits… we’ll keep you posted, so stay right here!
Remember, this is a red flag, not the chequered. Cars are returned to the pit lane, but under Parc Ferme conditions so teams are forbidden from working on them. The clock is still running, too. We’re just shy of 4h30 remaining.
The track is quiet now. Trucks are trying to clear the water, but the oncoming storm is here. This may take some time…
We’ve got the officials driving around the track. Maybe a sign … maybe …
A reminder of the Current Order:
Still under Red Flag Here
IMSA is beginning the track cleaning process, engines will start in 15 minutes.
The peace has been broken as engines can be heard once again at Road Atlanta
Drivers sprinting to the cars as they rev themselves up for the second half of the race
After an Hour of Red Flag, we might get going soon, as the Marshals finish their trenches
As the race gets going, we’ll hand back to Jake Kilshaw, who is also raring to go
It looks like the rain has calmed down a little bit as we go back under yellow with 3h30 remaining.
The leaders (#5, #10) pit.
They’re going for driver changes. Which might sound pointless, but the same driver has to start after the red flag as was in previously.
Taylor gives up a position to Dixon on the pit exit.
Andy Lally leads, in the #44 Magnus Racing car. Yes, that’s a GTD car out front!
Nick Tandy is into the #911. He was lightning fast early in the race, so he’ll likely be able to keep up with his team-mate’s pace from before the red.
Eric Curran will probably take the green flag as the leader, in the #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. By this, he and Cameron would be leading the provisional championship.
A reminder of the most surprising moment of the race so far, when Mike Rockenfeller ruined VisitFlorida.com Racing’s championship hopes.
Overall leaders are Curran, Gavin and Garcia.
And now that’s changed to Curran, Barbosa and Angelelli.
Guasch leads PC by a lap over Yount.
Gavin, Garcia and Farfus are in the GTLM top three.
And in GTD, it’s Lally, Pumpelly and Keen that lead.
Tandy, even in traffic, put in a fantastic first lap time, and is up to third in GTLM, fourth overall.
The #54 car is off the track, with Lazzaro behind the wheel. FULL COURSE CAUTION after barely four minutes of racing.
That’s the team that won the PC championship earlier.
As it runs, the #31 team of Curran and Cameron would win the Prototype standings with 309 points. VisitFlorida.com Racing would still get 306 points, tied with the #5 car.
In GT Daytona, #63 Scuderia Corsa would win on 281, whilst Nielsen (#007 TRG-AMR) would be second on 279. Paul Miller Racing in third on 277.
And in GTLM, Pilet is leading currently on 310 points for the #911. #25 BMW is on 305, whilst the #3 Corvette is on 302.
Three hours of the race remaining, and we’re still under yellow.
Lights out on the safety car – back to green this time round!
Another strong start for Curran in the lead. Nick Tandy sits second, 2.2s behind.
Barbosa is second in Prototype, but 15 seconds behind the leader and seventh overall.
It’s fair to say that Tandy has driven an incredible race today.
Kimber-Smith leads Popow in PC, whilst Lally is ahead of Pumpelly in GTD.
#912 Porsche into the barriers at turn one, with Makowiecki behind the wheel.
Curran is 8.8 seconds ahead of Tandy, and lapped 0.8s faster last time around.
Looks like Makowiecki made it back onto the track, though.
Nope, he’s gone into the pits instead. Earl Bamber takes over.
Pumpelly has overtaken Lally for GTD lead.
A long stop for the #3 Corvette, Magnussen back in the car as it finally exits pitlane.
Tandy is moving closer and closer to Curran for the lead.
Tandy has passed Curran for the OVERALL LEAD.
Tandy has now increased his lead almost ten seconds, with Curran’s lap times plummeting with the worsening conditions.
Oliver Gavin on IMSA Radio: “The track is an accident waiting to happen. It’s lethal. I’m gobsmacked nobody’s had a titanic crash. Surely safety is more important. I’m more than perplexed by some of the decision taken here today.”
Rockenfeller pits the #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing car and hands it to Westbrook.
Tandy could be in a case of winning both Le Mans and Petit Le Mans outright in the same year.
Full tank of fuel for the #31. Curran swaps over, hands the 2nd placed car to Cameron.
We’ve got a new leader in PC as the #52 Mathiasen Motorsport team takes the lead
FULL COURSE CAUTION
The FCY was for Bruno Junquiera in the #11 RSR Racing car, spinning and crashing.
It’s over to Connor Jackson for the next shift…
The field calms down once again as the #11 is tended to.
As for the order, Tandy leads in the #911 as fellow GTLM racer, the #24 BMW Team RLL behind
P – #5 Action Express Racing
PC – #52 Mathias Motorsport
GTLM – #911 Porsche RSR
GTD – #73 Park Place Motorsports
The audience are still out there as the cars gear up for the restart
THE CHEQUERED FLAG IS OUT. RACE ENDS
Nick Tandy takes the overall victory, even in a GTLM car.
The flag appeared to take everyone by surprise
The cars enter the pits as Tandy realises he’s just won the 2015 Petit Le Mans
Tandy and Pilet lead the celebrations in the pit lane
Tandy: “Clearly a lot of Rain helps us a lot”
#05 – Action Express Racing
#01 – Chip Ganassi Racing
#31 – Action Express Racing
#52 – Mathiasen Motorsport
#8 – Starworks Motorsport
#16 – BAR1 Motorsports
#911 – Porsche 911 RSR
#24 – BMW Team RLL
#4 – Corvette Racing
#73 – Park Place Motorsport
#44 – Magnus Racing
#93 – Riley Motorsport
The Full Course Yellow and the multiple stoppages meant that 9 cars eventually finished on the lead lap.
Read the race report here: http://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2015/10/gtlm-porsche-wins-petit-le-mans/
Keep checking The Checkered Flag over the coming days, as we’ll have more coverage of what was a bizarre, surprising but exciting race.
Thank you very much for following our live coverage today!
And thank you also to Connor Jackson, Adam Johnson and Paul Hensby for helping out with the coverage.