Rolex 24 At Daytona – Hour 12 to 17

After the first twelve hours race in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2019 season with eight Safety Car periods on the track, Acura Team Penske #6 was leading the DPi field, ahead of Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing #10 and Acura Team Penske #7. Whelen Engineering Cadillac #31 in P4 was the last car on the lead lap.

In the LMP2 class, DragonSpeed #18 and #81 were in front, while Performance Tech Motorsports #38 was six laps behind.

Porsche had it 1-2 in GTLM with #911 ahead of #912, while Risi Competizione Ferrari #62 was third. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66, BMW Team RLL #25 and Corvette Racing #4 were the last cars on the lead lap. At the 12 hour mark, Corvette Racing #3 with Jan Magnussen was still in the garage, but when they came out ten minutes later, they were ten laps behind the leader in the class.

Riley Motorsports – Team AMG #33 was leading the GTD class, ahead of Scuderia Corsa Ferrari #63 and Turner Motorsport BMW #96. The GTD class still had 12 cars on the lead lap, while Heinricher Racing w/Meyer Shank Racing Acura #57 with Christina Nielsen as one of the drivers was the first car that was one lap behind in i P13.

BMW Team RLL #24 had a tour over the grass, when the right front tire got a puncture. It damaged the front so much that the team had to change the splitter.

Pfaff Motorsport Porsche #9
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Jake Galstad

Spirit of Race Ferrari #51 also came to the pits with a punctured left rear tire. It evolved into a suspension damage, so they had to go back to the garage for repair.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura #86 got a drive-through for overtaking under yellow flag.

Pfaff Motorsports Porsche #9 in the GTD class came into the pits without headlights, so the mechanics must fix it, which costed them a few laps.

With a bit over 11 hours left on the clock, Acura Team Penske had a little exciting moment, when their two cars drove side by side through Turn 1 as Alexander Rossi overtook Juan Pablo Montoya from the outside! Montoya locked his wheels and there were only a few centimetres between the two cars. Roger Penske wouldn’t have been impressed, had they hit each other…

GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini #11 got a drive-through penalty for driving over some pit material.

Juncos Racing Cadillac #50
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Jake Galstad

Parker Chase in Starworks Motorsports Audi #8 was unlucky to brush the pit wall after a pitstop, and he had to drag the car back to the pits and drove directly to the garage to get the car repaired.

Mazda Team Joest #55 was in trouble with ten and a half hours left, when the left rear wheel didn’t sit correctly after what looked like a contact with another car. It deployed another SC period. The team never managed to get #55 back to the track and thus it had been the worst start imaginable for Mazda. However, the point system in the IMSA series states that the cars will get points if they start the race. That means they will still get some points for ninth place, where they ended up being on. Their luck was that JDC-Miller Motorsports #84 and the other Mazda retired earlier in the race and thus finished in 10th and 11th in DPi respectively.

When the race got restarted, Felipe Nasr in Whelen Engineering Cadillac #31 went to attack Jordan Taylor in Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac #10, and after being on the side of him a few times, Nasr could finally get past Taylor under braking to the Bus Stop chicane.

With ten hours left of the race, it began to drizzle, which gave the teams an extra challenge.

Nasr in #31 got under attack from Alexander Rossi in Acura Team Penske #7, and after a few attempts, Rossi outmanoeuvred the Cadillac in Turn 1.

JDC-Miller Motorsports #85 & Mustang Sampling Cadillac #5
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Michael L. Levitt

Rubens Barrichello drove JDC-Miller Motorsports #85 back to the garage, with a left rear tire that had a wrong angle, and a rear wing that didn’t look too pretty either. He had had an off track moment in the Bus Stop chicane that caused the damage on the car.

DragonSpeed #18 had problems with starting the car after their pitstop. The mechanics were working on the rear part of the car until they fixed the problem.

With nine hours and 42 minutes left of the race, the sky really opened up. It was bad for all the teams that just pitted and set new slicks on the car. There was a long queue in the pits when everyone must now change to rain tires.

Sebastien Bourdais went off the track with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66 in the International Horse Shoe. He hit the tire wall pretty hard but could continue after coming back to the asphalt.

Ryan Cullen in DragonSpeed #18 had an off track moment that damaged the front and rear of the car, so the mechanics had to change both parts before he could return to the track.

Scott Dixon in Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #67 also had a spin in the International Horse Shoe but he managed to avoid the tire wall.

Risi Competizione Ferrari #62
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Michael L. Levitt

Felipe Nasr was flying in Whelen Engineering Cadillac #31 and combined with a correct change to rain tires during their pitstop and that they avoided having to pit again, it gave them almost a whole lap lead to the rest of the field. Both Acura Team Penske cars and Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing #10 had to pit twice right after each other due to the heavy rain.

There was another SC with nine and a half hours left, since there were some debris on the track.

It took nearly half an hour before the race got restarted.

It didn’t take a long time for James Calado in Risi Competizione Ferrari #62 to take the lead in GTLM from Laurens Vanthoor in Porsche #912.

Fernando Alonso was back in Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac #10, and as the leading car he quickly distanced himself from the rest of the field, since he was free from all the spray from the cars. He pulled away from the others with over three seconds per lap!

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66 & Corvette Racing #4
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Michael L. Levitt

Eric Curren in Whelen Engineering Cadillac #31 had an incredibly slow lap, where he lost 37 seconds in the first sector, which happened out of the cameras’ angle. And the former race leader fell back with more than a minute from the leading Alonso in #10.

AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus #14 with Nick Cassidy had the lead in the GTD class, with Luca Stolz in Riley Motorsports – Team AMG #33 breathing down his neck. The German managed to overtake the New Zealander, since the Mercedes AMG GT3 car looked more stable on the wet track.

Mustang Sampling Cadillac #5 had an off track moment when Filipe Albuerquerque drove around without rear wing and an advertising banner was dragged behind the car. He drove to the garage to get the car repaired.

DragonSpeed #18 went off track in the International Horse Shoe, where he lightly hit the tire barrier, and Ryan Cullen could drive the car in reverse without any damage. On the next lap, he also had a detour in Turn 1 but could safely make it back to the asphalt.

Riley Motorsports – Team AMG #33 also had an off tour in Turn 1, but it costed him only four extra seconds, so Luca Stoltz kept the lead in GTD.

Corvette Racing #4 had a big run off in Turn 1, where Tommy Milner aquaplaned off the track in high speed and hit the tire barrier face first. It naturally deployed another Safety Car, since Milner stopped in a dangerous place, if there were others that went off the same place. Luckily, Milner was okay, but the car couldn’t drive away by itself.

CORE autosport Nissan #54 & GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini #11
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Richard Dole

The rain continued to fall, so there was more and more water all around the track. The officials tried to sweep the water away under the Safety Car period, and it took a bit more time than just removing #4 from the tire wall.

The order with eight hours left on the clock was Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac #10 in the lead of DPi field, DragonSpeed #81 in front in the LMP2 class, Risi Competizione Ferrari #62 leading the GTLM, and Riley Motorsports – Team AMG #33 was leading the GTD class.

Turner Motorsport BMW #96
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Jake Galstad

After an hour of repair, Corvette Racing #4 came back to the track, where Marcel Fässler got the honour to drive it. The cars were still driving behind the SC, since there was so much water on the track and there were risks of aquaplaning.

With seven hours and 14 minutes left, the race director chose to redflag the race, when the weather conditions didn’t seem to improve.

Four cars were in the leading lap in DPi, Top three in LMP2 was within seven laps of each other, Top 6 in GTLM was on the same lap, and the first 12 cars in GTD were on the same lap. So when the race got restarted, big changes could still happen in the standing – at least in three out of the four classes.

Related Posts