2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona: Hour 6 Update – Conway rapid in changing conditions

by Tim Lumb

Whelan Engineering Racing’s Mike Conway surged into the lead from seventh during changing conditions in hour six of the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The #31 car was the last in the prototype class in the lead lap after five hours, but with rain starting to come down Conway was able to rise up six positions to the lead of the race.

He made up four positions and over twenty seconds during the opening moments of the rainfall thanks to changing to wet tyres at the right time. The #5 Mustang Sampling Racing team kept in the lead but were slower in the conditions compared to others on the lead lap.

While no incidents took place because of the changing conditions, BMW Team RLL’s #25 car suffered a major failure to the right front tyre on the Daytona banking. While the car was able to stay out of the wall, a lot of damage was done to the front of the car.

Lando Norris in the #23 United Autosport car was also rapid in the wet conditions, with any sunlight also disappearing. The team however fell back down to seventh after the last cycle of pit stops.

Conway, Christian Fittipaldi in the #5 and Helio Castroneves in the #7 Acura Team Penske were separated by less than ten seconds by the end of the sixth hour, a change from 24.2 seconds separating the top three prototype cars an hour previous.

Castroneves was able to pass Fittipaldi late in the hour to take over second place.

The #10 Konica Minotta Cadillac with Jordan Taylor behind the wheel was able to get back onto the lead lap and up into fourth, less than thirty seconds behind the leader.

Fourteen seconds behind him was Team Penske’s #6 car with Dane Cameron behind the wheel. The team lost one position compared to an hour before but made up time on the overall leader.

In the GTLM class the #66 and #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing cars stayed first and second respectively, however behind them the #62 Risi Competizione team with Toni Vilander behind the wheel was able to rise up to third ahead of the #911 Porsche GT Team.

Corvette Racing’s Marcel Fassler in the #4 car was able to stay in fifth in the class, however Porsche’s #912 team moved up into sixth.

Kelvin Van der Linde stayed in the lead of the GTD class for Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, gaining thirty seconds more on second place Jeroen Bleekemolen and the #33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley car. The #93 Michael Shank Racing team was able to move into third in the class.

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