Rolex 24, Hour 10: One Acura leads as the other finds trouble
The Acura ARX-05s of Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud held a comfortable 1-2 past midnight at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, but half an hour later the Frenchman fell off the track and had to make an unscheduled pitstop.
Pagenaud was running around 12 seconds behind his teammate when both he and the #19 Audi R8 of Alex Riberas went off the track under braking, although it wasn’t clear whether the pair had made contact.
The crumpled nose of the #6 Acura obliged Pagenaud to stop around five minutes earlier than the rest of the Prototypes and he fell to third behind the Acuras’ closest rival currently, the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R currently wheeled by Renger van der Zande.
He lay 45sec behind Castroneves and 3sec ahead of Pagenaud, until a full course caution flew just past the 10th hour because the Juncos Racing Cadillac had shed a wheel soon after a pitstop.
That allowed Romain Dumas’ Nissan DPi run this year by CORE autosport, to draw closer to the top three, just ahead of Pipo Derani who has just taken over from Eric Curran in the #31 Action Express Racing Caddy.
In sixth is the JDC-Miller Cadillac of Misha Goikhberg, albeit a lap down, with Harry Tincknell driving the #55 Mazda RT24-P a further lap in arrears.
Pastor Maldonado and Henrik Hedman continued to run 1-2 for DragonSpeed in the LMP2 category, albeit two laps apart, while Kris Wright is pedaling the Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca another five laps behind.
In GT Le Mans, the battle has turned frantic, with Miguel Molina leading the class in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 – albeit requiring a pitstop some 22mins sooner than his nearest pursuer, Mathieu Jaminet in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR, and 18mins sooner than Antonio Garcia’s #3 Corvette C7.R in third.
Joey Hand’s #66 Ford GT is fourth and on the same pitstop strategy as Molina, and is ahead of Marcel Fassler’s Corvette, Colton Herta’s BMW M8 and Frederic Makowiecki’s Porsche.
GT Daytona sees reigning champion Bryan Sellers and Paul Miller Racing in charge in the Lamborghini Huracan ahead of the Montaplast by Land Audi R8, Austin Cindric’s AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F and Rolf Ineichen’s Grasser Racing Team Lambo.
Scott Hargrove is up to fifth in the PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R ahead of Ben Keating’s well-driven Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT and Dominik Farnbacher’s Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488.
Rolex 24, Hour 8: Cameron leads in Acura, Ferrari tops GTLM
Rolex 24, Hour 12: AXR Cadillac leads after halfway mark