2012 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona: Hour 7 Update

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The no.8 Starworks entry races through the Daytona night (Photo Credit: Grand-Am)

The no.8 Starworks entry races through the Daytona night (Photo Credit: Grand-Am)

Ryan Dalziel in the #8 Starworks Ford leads the Rolex 24-hour at Daytona at the seven hour mark, after an hour dominated by two full course yellow periods.

The hour started with Oliver Gavin in #90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette out infront with the #99 GAINSCO Corvette driven by Alex Gurney and the #01 BMW of Joey Hand less than a second behind him, with the top 10 cars all on the same lap.

Gavin and Gurney swapped places as they carved their way through the GT traffic which allowed Hand to close. Gurney then unexpectedly hit pit road with an apparent radiator problem. The signs looked ominous when the GAINSCO crew removed the front of the car, however they were thrown a lifeline when the #74 Audi spun causing the sixth full course caution of the race.

A majority of the car pitted. Hand, who had taken the lead from Gavin just before the caution, took the opportunity to change the front breaks on the #01 car. As this was happening the #99 reemerged from it’s garage with a new radiator and raring to go, albeit four laps down.

In the GT class a number of cars pitted for driver changes and repairs. The 5 car TGR team all stopped with the #66 replacing its front splitter.

The track went green with the top nine cars vying for position. Marco Andretti, in his first stint of the day, dropped down the order while Dario Franchitti in the #02 move up.

As sparks flew from Papis’ #9 Corvette due to earlier crash damage, less than a second covered the car in 5th from the car in 9th. However, this close racing was short lived as debris on track caused full course caution number seven.

The #9 of Papis pitted for extensive repairs to the rear left corner while the #46 Corvette of Michael Baughman stopped on track.

As racing resumed, the front 5 cars entered turn one nose to tail. Ryan Dalziel looked in no mood to hang around and swarmed all over the back of the #90 Corvette of Gavin, who inherited the lead during the stops. Dalzeil pushed Gavin hard and after two laps managed to overtake the Chevy.

Meanwhile in the GT class, the #66 of Allan Simonsen battled with the #63 of Toni Vilander and the pair constantly swapped places for 5th in class.

Back at the front, Hand and Braun battled hard as they both caught the #90 of Gavin. As Braun looked to overtake Hand, Franchitti closed and managed to take Braun into turn one.

More action in turn one only a few seconds later, as the as the #44 of Richard Lietz took to the outside of #67 of Marc Goossens for the lead of the GT class.

The hour ended with the #90 of Gavin slipping to the back of the train after missing the bus stop and having to stop at the exit.

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona DP class standings after Hour 6

1. #8 Starworks Motorsport – Dalziel/Luhr/McNish/Popow/Potolicchio

2. #01 Chip Ganassi Racing – Hand/Pruett/Rahal/Rojas
3. #02 Chip Ganassi Racing – Dixon/Franchitti/McMurray/Montoya
4. #60 Michael Shank Racing – Allmendinger/Negri/Pew/Wilson
5. #76 Krohn Racing -Braun/Jonsson/Krohn/Zonta

50th Rolex 24 at Daytona GT class standings after Hour 6

1. #44 Magnus Racing – Lally/Lietz/Potter/Rast
2. #67 TGR -Bertheau/Bleekemolen/Goossens/Henzler/Pumpelly
3. #57 Stevenson Motorsport- Bremer/Edwards/Liddell
4. #63 Risi Competizione – Beretta/Bertolini/Vilander
5. #66 TRG – Farnbacher/Keating/Pilet'Simonsen


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Michael is currently studying Motoring Journalism at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey. You can follow him on Twitter at Google+ Profile
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