Rolex 24 Hour 23: Feeling the heat

Image by Barry Cantrell/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 23: Feeling the heat


Rolex 24 Hour 23: Feeling the heat


One hour remaining, and it’s starting to really heat up now in Daytona.

Up front, Wayne Taylor Racing is lapping the field, and now sits 35 seconds clear, Kamui Kobayashi fast and consistent here, giving Cadillac the best chance to win this one.

The No. 77 Mazda is by no means out of it, but the team will require a caution to give it a real chance of snatching the win. For the No. 5 JDC Cadillac it’s much the same story — Loic Duval is on the lead lap but over a minute behind.

LMP2, barring any major drama, is DragonSpeed’s for a second year in a row. Ben Hanley will bring the car to the flag a lap ahead of the No. 52 PR1 ORECA of Gabriel Aubry.

GTLM is a straight fight between three cars. Porsche No. 911 leads but has a stop slated for early in the final hour. Behind is the No. 24 BMW, which lost a bit of time by being balked by the Era Motorsports ORECA at its final stop, but still emerged ahead of the No. 912 Porsche of Earl Bamber, which Jesse Krohn had spent Hour 23 chasing down.

The No. 912 emerged from its final stop more than 5 seconds behind the No. 24 despite the fact that the No. 24 took tires and suffered a delay.

GTD is a showdown, too, with the two contending Lamborghinis battling it out. Throughout Hour 23 it was a scrap between Marco Mapelli in the Magnus entry and Andrea Caldarelli in the Paul Miller example which caught the attention of the TV producers.

Mapelli was able to hold Caldarelli off, but after their penultimate stops they swapped places. Both stayed aboard but the Paul Miller Lambo (pictured, top) came out 12 seconds clear.

The No. 88 WRT Audi is on the lead lap but almost a minute back and being caught by the Wright Motorsports Porsche. Audi told RACER that WRT feels it doesn’t have the pace, the car balance drifting off in the closing hours.