2012 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona: Hour 13 Update

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Pitroad officials wait during the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona (Photo Credit: Rolex/Stephan Cooper)

Pitroad officials wait during the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona (Photo Credit: Rolex/Stephan Cooper)

Allan McNish continued Starworks Motorsport's fine display at the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona, maintaining the lead through another round of green flag pitstops during the race's thirteenth hour.

McNish began the hour with a lead of over ten seconds over A.J. Allmendinger in the no.60 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford, but the NASCAR driver sliced into the lead, often at more than a second a lap regardless of the slower traffic spaced around Daytona International Speedway.

Allmendinger clearly had the pace to pass McNish, but was unable to complete the move – owing to traffic mainly – before calling into the pits for a scheduled stop to install Ozz Negri in the no.60 car. When McNish made his own stop, the double Le Mans winner staying in the car for another stop, it was expected that Negri would be able to take the lead, especially after the Starworks team's fuel hose had stuck in the car.

Despite this when McNish returned to track with an increased lead – 3.8 seconds – over Negri. David Donahue and Memo Rojas twice enchanged possession of third place during the hour, the pair the last two cars on the lead lap after the no.6 Michael Shank Racing car fell a lap down under the control of Michael McDowell – though he continues to hold fifth position overall and in class.

Other Daytona Prototype runners were less fortunate. Following on from the mechanical issues for the no.90 the previous hour Terry Borcheller brought the no.9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP in for at least three separate pitstops the team dealing with a cooling problem in the car. Borcheller now runs eight laps off the overall leader.

Brumos Racing continue to lead the GT class, enjoying a lead of over a minute for much of the hour while several other teams swapped the minor positions of the top five. Spencer Pumpelly took second from John Potter in the Magnus Racing no.44 only to forfeit it when he stopped for Marc Goossens to take over the driving seat in the no.67 TRG entry. The Belgian was quick to start moving back up through the order, demoting John Edwards in the penalised Stevenson Camaro for third shortly after taking over the car. Edwards' no.57, however was fourth at the end of the hour.

Through the hour passed with a full course caution a number of drivers made mistakes. Two Porsche GT drivers made very different errors and the bus-stop chicane, though both were able to continue without damage to their machines. Another Porsche driver ran wide through the infield kink as the Donahue/Rojas battle passed him, bumping through the infield grass before regaining the track.

However, almost undoubtedly the closest call came when McNish went to pass yet another Porsche on the outside at the start of the NASCAR turn 1 banking only for the Porsche to move high, leaving only just enough room for the Riley carrying McNish to pass through without contact.

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona DP class standings after Hour 13

1. #8 Starworks Motorsport – Dalziel/Luhr/McNish/Popow/Potolicchio
2. #60 Michael Shank Racing – Allmendinger/Negri/Pew/Wilson
3. #5 Action Express Racing – Donahue/Fittipladi/Law
4. #01 Chip Ganassi Racing – Hand/Pruett/Rahal/Rojas
5. #6 Michael Shank Racing – Goncalves/McDowell/Nasr/Yacaman

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona GT class standings after Hour 13

1. #59 Brumos Racing – Davis/Haywwod/Keen/Lieb
2. #67 TRG – Bertheau/Bleekemolen/Goossens/Henzler/Pumpelly
3. #57 Stevenson Motorsport – Bremer/Edwards/Liddell
4. #44 Magnus Racing – Lally/Lietz/Potter/Rast
5. #23 Alex Job Racing – Collard/Holzer/Leitzinger/MacNeill

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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