Corvette Racing (GTLM), Riley Motorsports (GTD) Maintain Class Leads
PC Leaders CORE autosport Recover From Flat Tire To Take Second Segment
Jordan Taylor drove the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP to the lead at the halfway mark of the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona, but it was the pair of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley entries that shared the lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup after two six-hour segments.
After scoring a maximum five points in the opening segment, the No. 01 entry driven by Scott Pruett, Joey Hand, Charlie Kimball and Sage Karam finished the second segment in the third position while the team’s No. 02 entry driven by Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon was second at the end of each segment.
Points in the four-race Patrón Endurance Cup are awarded at specific intervals throughout each race – every six hours in the Rolex 24 – with the leader at the end of each segment scoring five points, four points for second, three points for third and fourth-place on back receiving two points.
Similar to Chip Ganassi Racing in the Prototype class, Corvette Racing’s pair of Corvette C7.Rs shared the top spot after two Patrón Endurance Cup segments in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. Oliver Gavin led at the 12-hour mark in the team’s No. 4 entry co-driven by Tommy Milner and Simon Pagenaud while the No. 3 driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe finished the segment second.
CORE autosport continued to show the dominance in Prototype Challenge (PC) that guided the team to wins in three of the four Patrón Endurance Cup events one year ago. After Colin Braun pitted in the seventh hour with a flat left-rear tire, he later drove the No. 54 ORECA FLM09 he shares with co-drivers Jon Bennett, James Gue and Mark Wilkins back to the lead earning the maximum 10 points through the race’s first two segments.
Roles were reversed in the GT Daytona (GTD) class as the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 of Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal and Anthony Lazzaro avenged a late pass by the No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R driven by Kuno Wittmer, Cameron Lawrence, Dominik Farnbacher and Al Carter at the end of the first segment. With the two teams swapping positions in the opening two segments, both share the class lead with nine points apiece.
The race is currently being streamed live via IMSA TV on IMSA.com. FOX Sports 1 will telecast the final stages of the Rolex 24 from 7 a.m. ET through the checkered flag and post-race at 2:30 p.m. ET.
NEWS AND NOTES
· Defending Rolex 24 champion Action Express Racing ran into trouble shortly before the nine-hour mark when Joao Barbosa stopped on-track with no fuel pressure in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. The car required a tow to the garage and returned to the track three laps down. At the end of the second segment, co-driver Christian Fittipaldi had moved to sixth, two laps down.
· Another Prototype contender ran into trouble early in the second Patrón Endurance Cup segment when Tony Kanaan drove the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost/Riley to the garage for a splitter change. The team was able to make the repair under a yellow flag losing only one lap. Kanaan then got the car back onto the lead lap and Kyle Larson drove to the second spot at the end of the 12-hour mark.
· Leading into the 10th hour in the GTLM class, Pierre Kaffer pitted the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia with a loss of horsepower. After multiple pit stops to diagnose the issue, Kaffer drove to the garage for repairs and the team later retired from the race reporting an electrical misfire.
· A multi-car incident involving the two Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSRs brought out the yellow flag in the 11th hour of the race. Both cars were running in the top five at the time of the collision, but sent the No. 912 of Earl Bamber to pit road and the No. 911 of Marc Lieb to the paddock for repairs.
Tony Kanaan, Driver - No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley:
“It got a lot better. It was a mistake I shouldn’t have made (driving over a curb, breaking the splitter), but it happens. It put us behind for a bit, but we recovered pretty well.”
Jan Magnussen, Driver - No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R
“We’re eight-and-a-half or nine hours in, and we’re still battling like it’s a sprint race. It’s fantastic and a great feeling. You push really hard all the times and go for the gaps.”
Troy Flis, Owner - No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP
“Speed wise, I think the car came to us a little bit. We made a couple changes early in the race and gave up some track position. Ricky (Richard Westbrook) and Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller) really like the car right now. We’re a little down on the max speed we’re looking for, but I don’t think we can trim it out any more. It would be too much a handful.”
Shane van Gisbergen, Driver - No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT America
“That stint was really enjoyable; I got to lead for about an hour so. I even got to lead the field to the green flag at one point on a restart. It’s pretty crazy to get out of a car after a long stint like that and still have something like 14 hours to go.”