Rolex 24 Hour 23: Five cars set for final-hour battle

Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images

Rolex 24 Hour 23: Five cars set for final-hour battle


Rolex 24 Hour 23: Five cars set for final-hour battle


Five cars are set to battle it out for overall honors with only one hour remaining in the Rolex 24.

Racing resumed following the 12th caution with one hour, 50 minutes remaining — with the restart having the feel of the start of a short-track sprint race.

Ricky Taylor was able to retain the lead in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura, holding off the efforts of a rejuvenated Oliver Jarvis in the No. 55 Mazda. Kamui Kobayashi was a close third in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac, while Renger van der Zande in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac passed Dane Cameron in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura for fourth.

The restart also saw Alexander Sims in the No. 25 BMW pass Alexander Sims in the No. 4 Corvette for the GTLM lead. A few laps later, though, Sims regained the lead while teammate Nicky Catsburg took third from the Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi.

There was also a lead change in LMP2, but Matthieu Vaxiviere in the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA getting by Ryan Dalziel in the No. 18 Era Motorsport. Vaxiviere was assessed a penalty for jumping the start, returning Dalziel to the lead.

The next round of scheduled pit stops saw Ricky Taylor step out of the No. 10 Acura, putting Filipe Albuquerque behind the wheel for the 90-minute dash for cash. Jarvis also got out of the No. 55 Mazda, putting Harry Tincknell in for the finish.

“It was really intense out there,” Ricky Taylor said. “I just wasn’t sure where my body would go at the end of four and a half stints, so I said to go with Filipe sooner better than later. Conditions have changed so quickly with a 10-mph wind, so it would be better for Filipe to have time to get used to the car. It’s his first time out in this car, and he’s been absolutely amazing.”

With 1h20m remaining, van der Zande passed Tincknell for second, 3.431s behind race-leading Albuquerque. Tincknell regained the advantage in the Turn 3 International Horseshoe.

With one hour remaining, Albuquerque led Tincknell by 2.589s, followed by van der Zande, Kobayashi and Montoya.

In GTLM, pit strategy put Jordan Taylor up front in the No. 3 Corvette, chased by Augusto Farfus in the No. 24 BMW and Tommy Milner in the No, 4 Corvette.

With an hour remaining, Mercedes runs 1-2 in GTD, with Maro Engel leading in the No. 57 and Raffaele Marciello second in the No. 75.

In LMP2, Gabriel Aubry leads in the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA, followed by Paul-Loup Chatin in the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA. Spencer Pigot continued to lead by three laps in LMP3, driving the No. 75 Riley Motorsports Ligier.