Rolex 24 Hour 3: Kobayashi, Cadillac to the fore

Image by Cantrell/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 3: Kobayashi, Cadillac to the fore


Rolex 24 Hour 3: Kobayashi, Cadillac to the fore


We’re into the fourth hour at the 58th Rolex 24 Hours and have enjoyed three straight hours of green-flag racing. The race pace is blistering …

Up front, it’s all change, Kamui Kobayashi spending the last 30 minutes reeling in and passing Tristan Nunez to give Wayne Taylor Racing’s Cadillac the lead on Lap 100. Kobayashi made the move in textbook-like fashion at Turn 1, and spent the final minutes of the hour gapping the No. 77 Mazda.

Notably, this marked the first lead in DPi for any marque other than Mazda (discounting changes of lead during pit cycles).

Nunez still sits second, though, 2.7 seconds back, with Dane Cameron in the No. 6 Acura third just 10 seconds off the lead. The sister No. 7 Acura continues to gradually find pace and enter into the race for the lead, Helio Castroneves getting the ARX-05 past the No. 55 Mazda into a solid fourth place.

Ryan Hunter-Reay spoke to the media after handing the No. 55 (now fifth) to Harry Tincknell, and revealed that the team is suffering with a telemetry issue which means the crew is unsure how much fuel is in the car. This is forcing them to pit earlier than everyone else to be on the safe side.

Further down the order, the No. 31 Cadillac is now up to seventh, Pipo Derani pushing hard to make up for the time lost in the second hour when the AXR team made an unplanned extra stop to remove debris.

LMP2 continues to be led by PR1, its No. 52 ORECA a full minute ahead now, Simon Trummer running well. Behind, there’s been a swap for second place, David Heinemeier Hansson breezing past Henrik Hedman’s DragonSpeed ORECA to take second in the Starworks example.

The GTLM Porsche’s 1-2 romp continues, but the positions swapped in the third hour, the No. 912 of Earl Bamber now sitting ahead of the No. 911 of Fred Makowiecki, getting the jump on the sister car which led from pole in the first two hours.

The No. 24 RLL BMW is still very much in this, though, Chaz Mostert’s lap times strong, the Australian just three seconds off the leader.

Corvette Racing’s No. 3 C8.R makes it three brands in the top four, though it’s falling further back by the lap from the rear bumper of the No. 24 BMW.

Porsche has a stranglehold on GTD, too, with Pfaff continuing to dominate, Dennis Olsen now installed in the No. 9 Porsche after the strong opening run from Zach Robichon. The No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini has climbed to second, with the Turner BMW dropping to third, though just two seconds adrift.

Outside the top three, the No. 86 Acura is 48 seconds off the lead in fourth, ahead of the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari which is fifth after Alessandro Balazan climbed in to take over from Cooper MacNeil.

The No. 98 Aston Martin us up to sixth now, after starting 12th, between Ross Gunn and Andrew Watson, the Vantage gradually becoming a contender here in the early stages.