Rain overwhelms Rolex 24 with long cautions, then red flag at 18 hours DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- February 1 -- Steady rain which caused numerous cautions and a shortage of rain tires in all classes finally brought the Rolex 24 at Daytona to a halt...
Rain overwhelms Rolex 24 with long cautions, then red flag at 18 hours
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- February 1 -- Steady rain which caused numerous cautions and a shortage of rain tires in all classes finally brought the Rolex 24 at Daytona to a halt in the 18th hour early Sunday morning. Although Grand American officials indicated the race will resume at some point, the red flag situation was anticipated to last at least 90 minutes.
For Porsche competitors, the rain has been a mixed blessing, as #66 The Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS driver Jorg Bergmeister explained.
"From our accident early in the race, we had to replace a rear shock, and the new shock seemed to respond better in the rain than on a dry track. But as it got very wet, handling became sloppy for everyone," said Bergmeister.
For the leading GT team, the Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the red flag situation is also a mixed blessing.
"It would be great to win the Rolex 24 GT class -- something we would be assured if the race ended right now -- but both my father and I need more green-flag laps to score full Grand American points," said Jay Policastro.
In the GT class, the #44 Orbit Porsche 911 GT3 RS, with Johnny Mowlem/Mike Fitzgerald/Robin Liddell/Joe Policastro/Jay Policastro sharing the driving duties, are one lap ahead, and have moved up to fifth overall. The #74 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup racer of Johannes van Overbeek/Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik/Peter Cunningham/Mike Rockenfeller, are sixth overall, eight laps ahead of the third place Ferrari.
The #66 The Racer's Group Porsche GT3 RS of Kevin Buckler/Patrick Long/Timo Bernhard/Jorg Bergmeister have overcome two flat tires and an accident to run on the same lap as the Ferrari, just out of third in class.
In the SGS class, the #91 Doncaster Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Jean-Francois Dumoulin/Robert Julien/Greg Pootmans/Marc Lieb has a four-lap lead over the pole-sitting #38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup race of Randy Pobst/ Marc Bunting/Andy Lally/John Littlechild/Michael Levitas. Third is the other Doncaster racer, the #71 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Dave Lacey/Greg Wilkins/Mark Wilkins/Tom Nastasi/Kenny Wi lden.
In the Daytona Prototype class, #59 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar entry driven by Hurley Haywood/J.C. France/Tommy Riggins/Scott Sharp ran in the top ten for much of the night before a broke suspension brought the effort to a halt with Sharp at the wheel.