Rolex 24 Hour 16: Alonso leading in the rain

Image by Levitt/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 16: Alonso leading in the rain

IMSA

Rolex 24 Hour 16: Alonso leading in the rain

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Two constants during the 16th hour: steady rain and Alonso in the lead.

The two-time F1 world champion was helped by a call by the Wayne Taylor Racing team at the 15h27m mark, calling the No.10 Cadillac to the pits while anticipating a caution. The No.6 Acura of Dane Cameron also dove into pit road, barely beating the yellow.

Early in the hour, the No.33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes of Luca Stolz passed the AIM Vasser Sullivan’s No.14 Lexus with Nick Cassidy at the wheel for the GTD lead. Stolz built up an 11-second buffer, which helped him maintain his advantage when he spun a few laps later.

Results

Then, Filipe Albuquerque pitted the Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi, dragging a banner after sliding into a tire barrier, shedding debris while heading to the pits. A tough race continues for the defending winners, seventh in class, 19 laps down.

Finally, the No.4 Corvette with Tommy Milner at the wheel had a wild slide heading into Turn 1, slamming into the tire barrier driver’s side first. He was unhurt, but could not extract the Corvette.

The Milner incident – coupled with the debris – brought out the 11th full-course caution at 15h28m.

Alex Zanardi returned to the No.24 BMW for his third stint under the caution. Unlike his first attempt which was slowed by problems with bent pins on his steering wheel, it was a smooth transition.

The caution was extended while track crews attempted to alleviate several areas of standing water – a frustrating task, given that the rain shows no signs of slowing.

Under caution with eight hours remaining, Alonso remains in front followed by the No.6 Acura of Dane Cameron, the No.7 Acura of Ricky Taylor and the No.31 Cadillac of Pipo Derani, all on the lead lap. DragonSpeed’s Ben Hanley leads LMP2 by three laps. Alessandro Pier Guidi in Risi’s No.62 Ferrari leads six cars on the lead lap in GTLM. (Zanardi is ninth, 18 laps down). Luca Stolz in the Riley Mercedes leads 12 lead-lap cars in GTD.

A.J. Allmendinger is running second in GTD. The driver of the No.86 Acura is looking to lead in all 13 of his Rolex 24 starts – all for Meyer Shank Racing.

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