Rolex 24 Hour 17: BMW rebounds from brake delays

Image by Barry Cantrell/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 17: BMW rebounds from brake delays


Rolex 24 Hour 17: BMW rebounds from brake delays


GTLM’s lead battle took a twist towards the end of the Rolex 24 night stints as a brake change on the No. 24 BMW ended a captivating on-track scrap.

The long pit stop required to service the leader punctuated the fight with the No. 912 Porsche at the front of GTLM, dropping Jesse Krohn a minute off the lead. However, Krohn immediately started setting fastest laps, with it conceivable that the team felt it could not longer wait for a yellow to make such a change after more than six consecutive hours of green running.

That left Porsche running one-two in GTLM, but Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Corvette closed up to within two seconds of Nick Tandy in the No. 911.

The DPi picture remains largely the same, with the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing car putting a lap on the majority of the class. Renger van der Zande lapped Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac, with a pit stop for the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest meaning only Loic Duval in the No. 5 JDC Miller car remains on the lead lap, some 70 seconds adrift.

Cadillacs currently occupy the top three positions followed by a pair of Mazdas, with Acura struggling in the cold conditions through the night. Dane Cameron — sharing the No. 6 Team Penske with Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya — admitting the car is “unbearable” due to it bouncing. “The thing is just bouncing up and down like a pogo stick around the racetrack,” Cameron said, admitting the team is having to shorten the stints as it fades from contention, but is still hoping the situation will improve with daylight.

In LMP2, Gabriel Aubry recovered from an off-track excursion in the previous hour to extend the No. 52 PR1’s lead over the No. 81 DragonSpeed to over 50 seconds. The class remains split, with the third-placed No. 18 Era Motorsport car 11 seconds off the leading pair after earlier trouble.

The GTD battle started to close up as the first signs of sunrise started to emerge, with Mirko Bortolotti in the No. 88 WRT Audi cutting the No. 48 Paul Miller Motorsports Lamborghini advantage in half after Madison Snow took over duties. The No. 44 Lamborghini is around a minute further back as now only three cars are on the lead lap following the spell of clean running.