2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona: Hour 8 Update – Leaders Fall by the Wayside


Credit: Craig Robertson / RacePhotography.net

The eighth hour saw two of the leading three Cadillac‘s take extended pit stops. The attention turned to the battle for second overall as the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta car dominated. The Rolex 24 at Daytona was defined by the #31 and #5, who potentially sacrifices a win after further mechanical problems.

The field is currently under their eighth FCY.

The hour begun with further gremlins for the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing, remaining in the pits for a number of laps and falling outside of the podium fight. They would return to the track with Mike Conway battling back to seventh.

The fall of one of the big three, ensured that the fight for the final Prototype podium place intensified. The #22 Tequila Patron ESM was the first to take the position eventually ending the hour in second.

All eyes were on the lead though, with Felipe Alberquerque holding off IMSA veteran Jordan Taylor for the majority of the hour. The Portuguese driver had been the first to pit, regaining the lead as Jeff Gordon struggled to drive in the wet conditions (an unusual sight for the former-NASCAR champion.)

Gordon was noticeably slow compared to his rivals narrowly holding on to second, though would end the hour in the lead as the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing was forced to pit after damage to the rear, due to contact on track.

In PC, further problems for the Starworks Motorsports cars saw the car spin multiple times in the tricky conditions. Elsewhere, the #26 BAR1 Motorsport car continued to close on their team-mate in second.

The GTLM class was once again defined by the pitstops with the #62 Risi Competizione going into the period in the lead.

The Ford’s, led by the #66 car, had fallen to the back of the class during the intense rain, getting themselves out of position in the pit stops. They took the lead as the others changed their tyres, but will need to regain the teams early race pace in order to challenge for the overall win.

The multi-car GTD battle continued as Connor De Phillippi taking his time in the lead, though his Audi R8 compatriot in the #57 Stevensen Motorsport ran into trouble with a puncture on the banking. He straight lined the infield and cruised back into the pit lane after a further lap.

Other GTD cars found themselves off track at various points, with the #11 Lamborgini Hurican driven by Ezequiel Perez Companc spinning dramatically at the first corner before recovering in eighth.

Order after 8 Hours

P

10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta – Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor ,Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon                                  22 Tequila Petron ESM – Bruno Senna, Brendon Hartley, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek                                            90 VisitFlorida Racing – Renger van der Zande, Rene Rast, Marc Goossens

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
67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon                                                                      62 Risi Competizione – Giancarlo Fisichella, James Calaldo, Toni Vilander

GTD

29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport – Connor De Phillippi, Christopher Mies, Jules Gounon, Jeffrey Schmidt
54 CORE Autosport – Jonathan Bennett, Colin Braun, Nic Jonsson, Patrick Long                                                                  93 Michael Shank Racing – Andy Lally, Katherine Legge, Mark Wilkins, Graham Rahal