Rolex 24 Hour 6: At quarter distance, Cadillac back in the lead

Image by Levitt/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 6: At quarter distance, Cadillac back in the lead


Rolex 24 Hour 6: At quarter distance, Cadillac back in the lead


Renger van der Zande put the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac back into the lead in an eventful sixth hour following the first yellow at the Rolex 24.

The hour started under full course caution due to the incident between the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage of Alex Riberas and No. 47 Precision Performance Motorsport Lamborghini of Eric Lux. Riberas was handed responsibility for the incident — despite claiming Lux braked on the banking to try and get in the pits — and received a drive-through penalty which was largely moot given the damage to the Aston Martin.

On the restart, Simon Pagenaud led in the No. 6 Team Penske Acura, but behind him Olivier Pla, in the No. 77 Mazda, spooked Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac into a mistake at Turn 1. A lap later Pla took the lead around the outside of Pagenaud ahead of the same corner, and pulled clear in traffic.

There was more action behind Pagenaud as he could see a close scrap between van der Zande and Albuquerque, the No. 10 muscling its way into third place before the next pit stop cycle. The WTR car was up to second as Albuquerque and Pagenaud came in, and there was a reshuffle as the No. 77 dropped from first to fourth by pitting last, falling 14s behind the leader and over five seconds behind the Nos. 31 and 6 as Pla handed over to Oliver Jarvis.

While in LMP2 the PR1 team went about rebuilding its lead following the full-course yellow, there was drama in GTLM: A fight ensued between Nick Tandy in the No. 911 Porsche and Jesse Krohn in the No. 24 BMW for the GTLM lead, with the BMW often pulling ahead over the finish line but then having to concede the inside and the lead into Turn 1. Krohn eventually got the move done, and, in the cooler conditions, the Porsches appeared less comfortable as Nicky Catsburg found his way past Tandy for second place in the No. 3 Corvette.

But Catsburg was soon involved in drama as he drifted up on the banking when passing the No. 98 Aston Martin Racing car being driven by Pedro Lamy, causing the Aston Martin Racing car to spin at high speed into Turn 1. The pair made contact again in the run-off area, dropping the No. 3 to sixth in class.

Lamy immediately came in and handed over to Ross Gunn, but the Briton understeered into the wall at the pit exit and had to limp round with damage.

In GTD, the Paul Miller Motorsports’ No. 48 Lamborghini took the lead under caution and it emerged that the No. 9 Pfaff Porsche had mistakenly taken the wave around so was forced to slow down. By the end of the hour, it was the No. 44 GRT Magnus that led, with Marco Mapelli at the wheel.

Kyle Busch jumped out after just a 19-lap stint, with the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus taking the opportunity to carry out a full pit stop and driver change under yellow after getting the wave around.