Rolex 24 Hour 12: JDC Miller Cadillac retains a narrow lead

Image by Cantrall/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 12: JDC Miller Cadillac retains a narrow lead

IMSA

Rolex 24 Hour 12: JDC Miller Cadillac retains a narrow lead

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We’re halfway through this one, and storylines are beginning to develop in all four classes.

DPi is still very much a fight featuring the three brands, with only one of them, Acura, having suffered a casualty.

Up front as the night hours continue is the No. 5 JDC Miller Cadillac, perhaps an unlikely leader after a quiet run through the opening hours. But its driver crew is stellar and the caution periods, as ever in this race, keep much of the field on the lead lap.

The JDC example leads a Cadillac 1-2-3, an all-too-familiar sight in this race since DPi debuted back in 2017. The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing entry is second, with the No. 31 Action Express car third. The two Mazdas are fourth and fifth, with the No. 55 ahead of the delayed No. 77, which has led much of this race but lost time to a drive-through penalty in hour 11.

The No, 6 Acura is sixth,and still a player here, though the raw pace we expected from Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron hasn’t been there in recent hours.

LMP2 continues to be a straight fight between PR1 and DragonSpeed; their ORECAs at least six laps clear of the other three cars, which have been delayed by issues and incidents.

It’s advantage PR1 now, with Nick Boulle leading the way, but the 88s advantage over the DragonSpeed ORECA of Colin Braun isn’t safe: caution periods and sequences where pro drivers are up against amateurs swings the balance of power so often.

GTLM looked briefly like it may become a race of attrition, but it has stabilized since the No. 4 Corvette headed behind the wall for repairs. 

RACER has received an update on the No. 4 in the past hour; Corvette explaining that the car will indeed make it back out after hours of repairs for an oil leak. The team will treat the second half of this one as an extended test session and hope that the No. 3 can fight for a podium finish towards the end.

The No. 25 BMW, which was heavily delayed by a wheel-nut issue and later an electrical problem, is back out, but is so many laps down that a comeback will not be possible here unless disaster strikes the front-runners.

Who is up front? Well Team RLL will be happy to see its No. 24 M8 GTE leading the way. Porsche looked to be firmly in control early, and some observers may be beginning to wonder what it has in reserve after such a strong start to the race, but BMW’s car has nevertheless been a pleasant surprise.

The two Porsches are right behind, with the Risi Ferrari fourth. The No. 3 Vette is fifth and just 15 seconds off the lead. It’s all to play for.

It’s a similar case in GTD too, though it appears that new contenders have emerged. The Paul Miller Lamborghini leads, with the WRT Audi second and the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari third. 

The Pfaff Porsche, surprisingly is down to ninth, after spending much of this one in the lead or a top three spot. This is because of a fuel rig issue that Porsche isn’t sure the cause of. Could such a trivial problem be the downfall of the car, which all week has looked the strongest?

Is Paul Miller Racing concerned too? Two Lamborghinis – both from Grasser (No. 19 & No. 11) – have had fuel pump problems that have eliminated them from contention.

Remarkably, there are just two retirements confirmed at this point – the two GTD class Aston Martin Vantages, both of which suffered terminal accident damage. Not the debut of the current Vantage GT3 in IMSA competition that the workforce at Prodrive had hoped for…

HOUR 12 STANDINGS

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