2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona: Hour 23 Update- Albuquerque Approaches New Distance Record

by James Thompson

Despite easing off during the 23rd Hour of the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona Filipe Albuquerque continued to pilot the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac towards victory and a new race distance record.

The Portugese driver was under strict orders to ensure the survival of the engine due to the overheating concerns meant that he circulated at a much reduced pace.

As a result his lead had dropped to just one lap advantage over Action Express team-mate the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Mike Conway.

Yet the British driver was more focused on matching the pace of the chasing Colin Braun in the #54 CORE Autosports ORECA, so he could secure an Action Express Racing Cadillac 1-2.

By the end of the hour he had a lap advantage over Braun.

The battle for fourth place looks to have been decided in favour of the #32 United Autosport Ligier driven by Bruno Senna.

Senna had managed to pull away from his closest challenger Antonio Felix de Costa in the #78 Jackie Chan DCR Jota ORECA and was further helped when da Costa received a drive-thru penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

Juan Pablo Montoya in the recovering #6 Team Penske Acura was another driver to land a drive-thru penalty after he barged the #29 GTD Audi of Kelvin van der Linde off the circuit at the Kink.

Fernando Alonso‘s entry the #23 United Autosports Ligier spent most of the hour behind the wall as the team sought to fix more problems.

In GTLM Joey Hand in the #66 Ford GT spent the hour trying to chase down team-mate Ryan Briscoe for the lead after losing it in the pits.

The #86 Michael Shank Acura of Alvaro Parente lies in second in GTD with just one hour to go. Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Images

The two Ford GTs were separated by just 2.3 seconds at the beginning of the final hour.

Their closest challenger was still the #3 Corvette of Jan Magnussen, but he was now a lap off the leaders.

Mirko Bortolotti in the #11 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini continues to lead the GTD field.

The car that started last after a qualifying infringement, carries a 30 second lead over the #86 Michael Shank Racing Acura of Alvaro Parente.

However, Parente was more focused on building a gap between himself and third place runner, the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini of Andrea Caldarelli, the two being separated by just 2.5 seconds.

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