2012 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona: Hour 3 Update

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Barbosa leads the way at the end of the third hour in the #9 Action Express Racing car

Barbosa leads the way at the end of the third hour as the daylight fades and the lights come on

The third hour of the 50th running of the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona would start with a second full course yellow as the #74 Oryx Racing Audi R8 with Steven Kane stopped on track and needed to be recovered.

There would only be a short burst of green flag racing before another full course yellow as the #4 Porsche of Justin Bell spun and couldn't restart on the exit of turn 3.

The full course yellow would provide the ideal opportunity for a barrage of pit stops seeing driver changes up front with the #99 leading the way on the restart with Memo Gidley in the driving seat followed by #9 Joao Barbosa, and #60 Justin Wilson. Back in GT the #42 of Will Nonnamaker led #88 Paul Edwards and #45 Mike Rockenfeller.

As green flag racing resumed the light faded and the neon lights of the fairground shone through. Talking of the change from day time to night racing Patrick Dempsey said: “It takes a little getting used to, especially under breaking and just getting new references in the car.”

Earlier GT leader Emmanuel Collard would spin on the infield section before continuing, losing three places in the process; Seconds later the #55 Brumos Porsche had an off track moment on the back straight after being squeezed by ex-F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella. The #65 Porsche of Jim Michaelian also had a spin coming out of the bus-stop.

Sunoco Rolex 24 at Daytona Challenge winner Felipe Nasr was settling in to his drive following a set of new tyres after reports of vibration, the young Brazilian is currently running in eighth place on his sportscar debut.

Justin Wilson headed in to the lead three quarters in to the third hour closely followed by the #9 of Joao Barbosa; early leaders #2 Starworks Motorsport with Michael Valiante slipped in to third.

As the end of the third hour came to an end an announcement from Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli would reveal the #10 Suntrust Racing Corvette would not be returning to track and retired from the race.

Traffic would provide Barbosa an opportunity to get alongside Wilson as the drivers finished their third hour, Wilson would hold off the initial pressure before Barbosa making his move to take the lead in to the fourth hour.

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona DP class standings after Hour 3

1. #9 Action Express Racing – Barbosa/Borcheller/France/Papis
2. #60 Michael Shank Racing – Allmendinger/Negri/Pew/Wilson
3. #8 Starworks Motorsport – Dalziel/Luhr/McNish/Popow/Potolicchio
4. #02 Chip Ganassi Racing – Dixon/Franchitti/McMurray/Montoya
5. #01 Chip Ganassi Racing – Hand/Pruett/Rahal/Rojas

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona GT class standings after Hour 3

1. #88 Autohaus Motorsports – Edwards/Marsh/Milner/Taylor
2. #44 Magnus Racing – Lally/Lietz/Potter/Rast
3. #66 TRG – Farnbacher/Keating/Pilet'Simonsen
4. #45 Flying Lizards Motorsports – Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller
5. #67 TRG – Bertheau/Bleekemolen/Goossens/Henzler/Pumpelly

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Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Checkered Flag who grew up visiting race circuits around the UK also a freelance motorsport PR officer. Outside of motorsport a lover of music, photography, NBA and NFL.
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