The Rolex 24 at Daytona is set for a nail biting final hour as four cars in the Daytona Prototype Class are on the same lap currently running behind the safety car thanks to the circuit being littered with debris following a puncture for the #45 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup.
Juan Pablo Montoya leads the race in the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley from A.J. Allmendinger in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley, Joao Barbosa in the #9 Action Express Racing Corvette and Max Angelelli in the #10 VelocityWW Corvette.
Montoya seemed to have done enough to secure the victory as he held a 25 second lead over Allmendinger however a safety car an hour and a half from the end due to debris closed the four cars right up to each other. All four opted to pit and Allmendinger managed to leave the pits in the lead ahead of Montoya, Barbosa and Angelelli. The cars spent a further fifteen minutes behind the safety car before the green flags waved and full racing conditions resumed.
Montoya instantly attacked Allmendinger but the American resisted, positioning his car on the inside line to repeatedly block the seemingly faster Montoya. Behind, Barbosa defended from Angelelli as the four looked to have been strung out in to two groups of two. However, Allmendinger’s defence held the front two up and within a couple of laps there was a train of four fighting for the lead. Sensing the need to make sure he didn’t have to withstand pressure from behind Montoya decided defence was the best form of attack and got a good run around the outside of Allmendinger across the start/finish line and swept into the lead with just over an hour of the race remaining. He instantly broke away and after briefly going wheel to wheel with Angelelli, Barbosa began to shape up to attack Allmendinger. However, the race was neutralised once more after the #45 Porsche laid debris across the circuit, once again negating Montoya’s advantage.
In the GT class, things had been even more exciting with long time category leader Nicolas Armindo in the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup having his ten second lead wiped out with the arrival of the first safety car. He then lost the lead when he overshot his pit box and the team were forced to push his car back before they could change tyres and put fuel in to it. When the race resumed there was a titanic three way scrap for the lead between the #52 Audi Sport Customer Racing car of Rene Rast, the #69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari machine of Anthony Lazzaro and the #13 Audi Sport Customer Racing/Rum Bum Racing car of Markus Winkelhock. In a spectacular move Winkelhock passed both cars at once to take the category lead as the drivers went three abreast down the start/finish straight. However, only moments later Winkelhock spun handing back the lead of the category to Rast before the second safety car.
In the GX category #16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman currently being driven by David Donohue has an eight lap advantage over the next car in class.
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona Prototype standings after 23 hours
1 – #01 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates BMW Riley
2 – #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley
3 – #9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
4 –#10 VelocityWW Corvette DP
5 – #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT standings after 23 hours
1 –#52 Audi Sport Customer Racing/APR Motorsport Ltd.UK – Audi R8 GRAND-AM
2 – #69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari – Ferrari 458
3 –#44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup
4 – #24 Audi Sport Customer Racing/AJR Audi R8 GRAND-AM
5 – #63 Scuderia Corsa Michelotto Ferrari 458
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GX standings after 23 hours
1 – #16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman
2 –#22 Bullet Racing Porsche Cayman GX.R
3 – #38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman GX.R