The chances of a Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates 1-2 finish have taken a huge blow after an off circuit excursion for Charlie Kimball at the wheel of the #01 car while leading.
As the hour began things were looking pretty comfortable at the front for the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team as British driver Dario Franchitti piloting the #02 car led from Kimball by nearly 8 seconds with Joao Barbosa in the Action Express Racing Corvette back in third.
However, with just over twenty minutes of the hour gone a full course caution was thrown while marshals removed the stricken #68 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry of the GT Class after driver Brad Lewis crashed out.
With the yellow flags waving the pit lane was suddenly a hive of activity as drivers pitted for fuel and fresh tyres. During the stops, Kimball got out ahead of team mate Franchitti after electing not to change tyres.
After just over 15 minutes under yellow flags, full racing conditions resumed and Kimball’s decision not to change tyres looked a poor one as with nearly a lap completed under green flags the American made an error and slid across the grass handing the lead back to Franchitti. Kimball made a quick pit stop to have his radiator cleaned out and crucially remained on the lead lap but dropped down to seventh.
Kimball’s error promoted Barbosa to second with the #10 VelocityWW entry of Jordan Taylor in third. Taylor was unable to maintain this position for long though as the hard charging Sebastien Bourdais at the wheel of the #2 Starworks Motorsport with Alex Popow aboard Riley Ford swept past.
As the end of the hour approached Franchitti was in a class of his own at the front to lead Barbosa by the best part of four seconds. Bourdais had edged away from Taylor in third, with the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette of Brian Frisselle beginning to close up in fifth.
In the GT category the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche of Richard Lietz had a six second lead over the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 of Alessandro Pier Guidi. The closest battle in the category was for third with #24 Audi Sport Customer Racing entry of Edoardo Mortara and the #30 MOMO/NGT Motorsport Porsche of Patrick Pilet separated by a tenth of a second for third and fourth.
In the GX category the #16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman continued to be the class of the field in the hands of Jim Norman; two laps clear of its nearest category rival.
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona Prototype standings after 11 hours
1 – #02 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates BMW Riley
2 –#9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
3 – #2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford Riley
4 – #10 VelocityWW Corvette DP
5 – #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT standings after 11 hours
1 – #44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup
2 – #63 Scuderia Corsa Michelotto Ferrari 458
3 – #24 Audi Sport Customer Racing/AJR Audi R8 GRAND-AM
4 – #30 MOMO/NGT Motorsport Porsche GT3 Cup
5 – #23 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GX standings after 11 hours
1 – #16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman
2 – #38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman GX.R
3 – #22 Bullet Racing Porsche Cayman GX.R