2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona: Hour 15 Update – Albuquerque Regains Lead as Curran Drops Back


Credit: Jake Galstad/LAT Images

Filipe Albuquerque in the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac regained the lead of the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of 15th hour.

Albuquerque came out on top in the three-way battle for the lead continued between the two Action Express Cadillacs and Helio Castroneves in the #7 Team Penske Acura.

Eric Curran in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac began the hour in the lead from Action Express Racing team-mate Albuquerque but was soon delayed as rear brake light failure necessitated changing the rear wing in a off-sequence pit-stop.

The stop dropped him a minute and a half behind his team-mate and had dropped a lap off the leader by the end of the hour.

This gave Albuquerque the lead and he maintained a 10-12 second advantage over Castroneves throughout the hour.

Bruno Senna was the best of the rest in fourth in the #32 United Autosports Ligier, two laps down on the three leaders with Loic Duval in the #54 CORE Autosports ORECA rounding out the top five.

Lance Stroll was delayed when the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA suffered another puncture, but did not lose too much time.

In GTLM the dominant Ford Chip Ganassi train continued to pound on with the #66 Ford of Sebastien Bourdais holding a narrow lead over the #67 of Scott Dixon.

With an entire lap’s advantage over Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette, the Fords, perhaps to make things interesting, regularly swapped places on a few occasions, spending the entire hour separated by less than a second.

Behind them Garcia was stranded in no-mans land, he was a lap behind the leaders but had a lap’s advantage over his team-mate Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette.

BMW’s tough debut for the new M8 GTE continued as the #25 of Philipp Eng spent a lengthy time behind the wall.

In GTD Alvaro Parente gave Acura the lead of the category as the #86 Michael Shank Racing car overcame a strong challenge from Lamborghini.

Alvaro Parente, in the #86 Michael Shank Racing Acura, overcame the challenge of Lamborghini to take the GTD lead at the end of the hour. Jake Galstad/LAT Images

The Lambos dominanted most of the hour, holding 1-2 for most of the hour as Bryan Sellers in the #48 Paul Miller Racing holding off Franck Perera in the #11 Grasser Racing Team example.

However in the pitstops Trent Hindman handed the #86 Acura over to Parente who soon caught and overtook the #48 of the newly installed Bryce Miller to take the GTD lead.

Perrara had his brakes changed during his pit stop and dropped to fifth place by hour end.

His stop gave Paul Dalla Lana in the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 the final spot on the GTD podium.