Rolex 24 Hour 22: Riding Daytona ‘rollercoaster’

Image by Richard Dole/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 22: Riding Daytona ‘rollercoaster’


Rolex 24 Hour 22: Riding Daytona ‘rollercoaster’


It appears we have just three DPis in contention with two hours to run in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

This is because the No. 55 Mazda has suffered a minor mechanical issue which has dropped the car four laps down and down to fifth overall behind the delayed No. 6 Acura. The mechanics worked hard on the car and thankfully didn’t have to push the car behind the wall, but the damage has been done, and it would take a lot for that car to get back into this one.

This leaves the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac with the race to lose. Kamui Kobayashi is back in and is pulling away from the No. 77, Mazda which is second and has had an astonishing run, it must be said. As has the No. 5 JDC Cadillac which is third and on the lead lap.

Ryan Briscoe spoke to the media in the hour to give a full update on the ups and downs WTR has had in the second half of the race, which saw it lead healthily, then hit trouble, before fighting back to the top spot:

“Wow. That was a rollercoaster,” he said after his most recent stint this morning. “Everything happened.

“I didn’t even realize I’d be driving when I was this morning. I was woken up, ran to pit lane, went out and the whole car car shut down at the Bus Stop, I pulled off onto the apron — I thought we were done.

“The engine refired but I had no power steering. The steering came back after another reset. But it was scary, because we’d been leading a lot. Sometimes when the car hits the bump, it trips the power steering breaker switch, which switched the car off.

“We got the penalty after that — I was confused about that. It was a routine stop after yellow and I wasn’t expecting a red light. When I pulled out to leave pit lane I was checking my mirrors, I didn’t know I’d run the light. So we got a 60-second penalty. It was my bad. Thankfully we had yellows fall our way to get us back on the lead lap.

“The car is fantastic — it has been consistent over long runs, which is nice. We adjust the tools throughout the run to keep the balance in check but otherwise it’s a car you can drive fast and have fun with. Hopefully we can just keep it going.

“I wasn’t panicking because it’s Daytona so you think there will be yellows. We just go to work — we know we have a good car.”

In LMP2 it appears to be settled. If DragonSpeed’s near-faultless run continues, the No. 81 (pictured, top) should win by multiple laps over the PR1 ORECA.

GTLM is like DPi — it’s down to a select few cars, who are all in with a shot. The main focus now is the battle between Earl Bamber (who now leads in the No. 912 Porsche) and Jesse Krohn in the No. 24 BMW. It’s going to be maximum attack from here on out.

The No. 3 Corvette, No. 911 Porsche and No. 62 Ferrari are all still on the lead lap, though, and cannot be counted out, especially if there’s a late caution.

The cars on the lead lap in GTD are the No. 44 Magnus and No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghinis, which are just a second or two apart. The No. 88 WRT Audi is third, with the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche fourth.