2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona: Hour 17 Update – Dawn Breaks as Barbosa Continues to Press On

by James Thompson

As dawn broke upon the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac of Joao Barbosa continued to stretch his lead to 2 laps.

The 17th hour of the race saw little change in the leaderboard as the sun rose over to show utter domination by Action Express Racing.

Despite holding a very healthy lead, Barbosa showed no sign of backing off as he inched closer & closer to the fastest lap pace.

Felipe Nasr continued to hold second place in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac but was unable to make any impression on the leader and ended the hour two laps behind Barbosa.

The #32 United Autosports Ligier continued to impress in third place with Hugo de Sadeleer but he is four laps down on the leader.

Colin Braun in the #54 CORE Autosport ORECA and Antonio Felix da Costa in the #78 Jackie Chan DCR Jota ORECA rounded out the top five.

Helio Castroneves in the #7 Team Penske Acura was back onto the pace after their problems and was setting fastest sector times as the car tried to regain the lost ground.

The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing‘s defence of its 2017 Rolex 24 win ended as Renger van der Zander suffered the team’s fourth rear right puncture leading the team to retire the car.

The Ford Chip Ganassi cars continued to make GTLM their own with the #67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook in the lead and pulled away from team-mate Joey Hand in the #66.

Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette had managed to get onto the lead GTLM, but is a minute behind the Fords. Credit: Scott R LePage/LAT Images

Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette has now got himself onto the lead lap, but he is over a minute behind the two blue oval machines.

In GTD, Bryan Sellers in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini held the lead ahead of the #33 Team Riley Mercedes of Jeroen Bleekemolen who ended the hour trying to fend off Katherine Legge in the #86 Michael Shank Racing Acura.

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