Rolex 24 Hour 19: Restart triggers multi-car incidents

Image by Marshall Pruett

Rolex 24 Hour 19: Restart triggers multi-car incidents

IMSA

Rolex 24 Hour 19: Restart triggers multi-car incidents

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The Rolex 24 went back to green following a one-hour, 45-minute stoppage for rain, only for a multi-car crash in the trioval at the restart quickly put the event back under caution.

As the cars went through the trioval for the first time with minimum visibility, several started spinning, and three stopped with crash damage. Ryan Hardwick was able to continue in the defending class-winning No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini. Not so lucky were Zacharie Robichon in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche, and Taylor Proto in the No. 46 EBIMOTORS Lamborghini.

The remainder of the 19th hour ran under caution.

Standings

“For me, it is OK — I am in front,” said race leader Fernando Alonso, driver of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, during the red flag. “Before the caution, it was fun. The Cadillac was performing well in dry conditions as well as in the wet. We lapped a few cars. It is going to be an exciting finish and good show. I have more time to do in the car. I am ready to go.”

GTD leader A.J. Allmendinger explained that the decision was made to go back to green one lap prior to the red flag — giving him the lead when the No. 33 Wynn’s Riley Mercedes-AMG crew decided to pit.

“As soon as they made the decision to possibly try to go green, the skies opened up,” Allmendinger said. “I just about crashed in Turn 6 — it was just sliding around. After they called it (red flag), there were about six Prototypes in front of me and they all just about crashed, running around 20 miles. We’d love to go back to green and put on a show. We don’t want to have our biggest race of the year end like this.”

In GTLM, Alessandro Pier Guidi led during the stoppage in the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE, with six cars on the lead lap.

“It was difficult even to stay behind the safety car,” said Ferrari co-driver Miguel Molina said. “I am happy they made the decision to stop.”

The move from red to green back to yellow did not affect the race leaders. Alonso continued to lead in the No. 10 Cadillac, 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.

No. 81 DragonSpeed’s Ben Hanley leads LMP2 teammate Pastor Maldonado (No. 18) by two laps. Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 62 Ferrari leads six cars on the lead lap in GTLM, while Allmendinger leads GTD in the No. 86 Acura.

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