2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona: Hour 22 Update – Heartbreak for GTD leaders


Credit: Craig Robertson/Speed Chills

The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta entry of Jordan Taylor continues to lead the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona with just two hours remaining as Cadillac continue to pace the field.

WRT have been embroiled in a near race-long battle with the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac, currently in the hands of Filipe Albuquerque after he took over from veteran Brazilian Christian Fittipaldi, with less than twenty seconds between them, while despite the apparent pace advantage of the Cadillac, Rene Rast remains on the lead lap in the #90 Visit Florida Racing Riley.

Just one lap further back sits the #2 Tequila Patron ESM machine of Luis Felipe Derani, but time is running out for this machine to regain their lost lap and fight for overall honours, but fifth in class, the #13 Rebellion Racing Oreca of Neel Jani remains eight laps down and thirteenth overall.

Ben Hanley started the hour by causing the eighteenth caution period of the race, with the driver of the #81 DragonSpeed Oreca Prototype losing control on the entry of the Bus Stop and leaving much of the rear bodywork of his car on track. The Briton made his way slowly back to the pits but headed straight for the garages for repairs.

The PC class remains a one horse race, having been controlled throughout by the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports machine, with Kyle Masson currently more than twenty-four laps clear of second placed Trent Hindman in the #26 BAR1 Motorsports machine.

The battle for honours in the GTLM class continues to be close, with six cars all in contention for victory. The #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand currently leads an unpredictable class, with the #62 Risi Competizione machine of Giancarlo Fisichella second ahead of two more Fords, the #68 of Billy Johnson ahead of the #69 of Harry Tincknell.

The #3 Corvette Racing machine of Mike Rockenfeller is also in the battle, as is the #911 Porsche GT Team machine of Frederic Makowiecki, with all six running almost nose to tail throughout the hour.

It was heartbreak however for the long-time GTD leaders, with Sam Bird pulling off track as he headed off the in-field session with smoke bellowing from his #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari as the hour concluded, which allowing the #29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi, currently in the hands of Frenchman Jules Gounon, to take over the lead. Bird’s stoppage insured the nineteenth caution of the race, with the #33 Riley Motorsports – Team AMG Mercedes moving into second and the #57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi into third.

Top 3 after 22 Hours

P

10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta – Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor ,Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon

5 Mustang Sampling Racing – Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi

90 VisitFlorida Racing – Marc Goossens, Renger van der Zande, Rene Rast

PC

38 Performance Tech Motorsports – James French, Patricio O’Ward, Kyle Masson, Nicholas Boulle

20 BAR1 Motorsports – Don Yount, Buddy Rice, Mark Kvamme, Chapman Ducote,Gustavo Yacaman

26 BAR1 Motorsports – Tom Papadopoulos, Johnny Mowlem, Adam Merzon, Trent Hindman, David Cheng

GTLM

66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand, Sebastien Bourdais

62 Risi Competizione – Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella, James Calado

68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Billy Johnson, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla

GTD

29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsports – Connor De Phillippi, Jules Gounon, Jeffrey Schmidt, Christopher Mies

33 Riley Motorsports – Team AMG – Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Mario Fernbacher, Adam Christodoulou

57 Stevenson Motorsports – Lawson Aschenbach, Andrew Davis, Matt Bell, Robin Liddell