At halfway, the sun is dipping below the horizon, alleviating the tough conditions that the drivers face heading up the hill toward Turn 2. It also means that the long hours of darkness are coming, and the teams that expect their cars to perform better as it gets colder will soon find out if their prediction is correct.
The massive incident that began the fifth hour and left the field circulating behind the pace car for much of it claimed so many GTD car that the battle is now down to five cars. The No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage has surged to the front, with four other cars on the same lap. Zachary Robichon in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports is Roman de Angelis’s closest pursuer, followed by Daniel Morad in the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-AMG, Patrick Long in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche and Robert Megennis in the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F.
The No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini is still running, 12 laps down, but unless it retires, there is still an outside chance that the team could pull off an upset for the GTD championship.
Just before halfway, Mike Conway brought the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac into the pits after only seven green laps because data showed a puncture and changed the tire. The team is now off sequence. At halfway, Juan Pablo Montoya led overall in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura.
Two of the LMP3 contenders have separated themselves from the rest of the field, and are right in the middle of the GTLM fight, adding an additional element to that battle. Garret Grist in the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier leads Scott Andrews in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier.
Andrews has separated GTLM leader Philip Eng in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL M8 from the rest of the field. But the GTLM contest remains anyone’s with the exception of the No. 3 Corvette, taking out in the incident that started the fifth hour.