Rolex 24 at Daytona Hours 17-20: Porsche Troubles


28-31 January, 2016, Daytona Beach, Florida USA 911, Porsche, 911 RSR, GTLM, Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet, Kevin Estre ©2016, Richard Dole LAT Photo USA

As daylight shines over the Daytona International Speedway, battles are starting to emerge with the end now in sight. At the front Max Angelelli leads in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing machine, but 4 cars are still on the lead lap, meaning that it’s far from over.

The seventeenth hour started with a full course caution as Stephan Mucke in the #67 Ford GT Eco-Boost car stopped at the bus stop chicane. The pitstops saw minimal change at the front of the GTLM group, with the #4 Corvette remaining in the lead.

Meanwhile the #02 came back out of the pits, but remains 7  laps off the lead, with a collision later on, only making it worse. He wasn’t the only car running into problems though as an off-track moment for Giancarlo Fisichella in the #62 Risi saw him lose, yet more, time. However; they were already four laps down and it mattered little to the overall result.

Another Caution was called after the #45 stopped on track, with the #5 rotating into the lead. This didn’t last long though as an intense three way battle saw Luis Felipe Derani taking to the grass in order to grab the lead and run off down the road before he came into the pits. Similar action, saw the Corvette’s take first and second in GTLM with the #4 leading the way.

In Prototypes, the #31 Action Express Racing dropped out of the lead battle after smoke was seen coming from the left rear of the car. But it now looks like the battle between the Corvette’s and the remaining Honda at the front.

With the gaps opening out, the Prototype Challenge class remained fairly static as the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsport car, claimed an 6 lap gap in front of the #20 and the continuously unlucky #26 BAR1 Motorsports cars, who spun yet again.

In GTLM it was the #911 Porsche who found its way back to the front before technical issues saw it pit. But, with four hours to go, and Ferrari still in the mix, three manufacturers can still realistically win the race. As for the #25 BMW Team RLL, they’ve fallen back after a competitive stint during the night. Despite this, they are on the lead lap.

GTD heated up during the early hours of the morning with the lead once again dicing between a number of drivers. It was the #44 Audi of Rene Rast, followed by Andy Lally who managed to pull out a forty second gap over the field with the Porsche and Aston Martin machines battling behind.

The hour ended with a Full Course Yellow as the #67 Ford GT stopped on track. For continued live coverage, follow The Checkered Flag team here.