Daytona 24: VICI Racing hour 16 report

XM SATELLITE RADIO ARE BACK IN THE LEAD OF THE ROLEX 24 AFTER 16 HOURS Daytona, Florida - After 16 hours of racing, 2/3rds distance, of the Rolex 24 the ...

XM SATELLITE RADIO ARE BACK IN THE LEAD OF THE ROLEX 24 AFTER 16 HOURS

Daytona, Florida - After 16 hours of racing, 2/3rds distance, of the Rolex 24 the #23 XM SATELLITE RADIO supported Crawford Porsche is back in the race lead after a stunning fight back up the field through the night that has seen it make up a deficit of 9 laps and 39 track positions.

The #23 car's three drivers: Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long have all consistently lapped at a pace that has been over 2 seconds a lap faster than any other runner in the 66 car field, posting a string of fastest race laps, and slicing their way back up through the classification, as they recovered from a driveshaft problem that had enforced a lengthy and unscheduled pitstop during the race's third hour.

It has been an exciting and very dramatic start for the XM SATELLITE RADIO in the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve, a start that has plunged them into action straight in the deep end at one of the world's greatest sportscar races, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. By the Rolex 24's one third distance mark - 8 hours - the #23 Porsche Crawford had climbed back into the top ten, and had settled into a pace that none of its rivals could quite simply match. As the race ratcheted up 10 hours of running, on lap 300, Lucas Luhr posted a best time of 1:44.999 (121.713mph), which is still the fastest lap of the race as we now head through the sixteen hour barrier. By that point the car was 3 laps off the lead.

At half past ten Mike Rockenfeller took a further lap back off the leaders, reducing the deficit down to 2 full laps of the 3.56-mile Daytona Speedway. The German then handed over to third driver Patrick Long, who immediately became embroiled in a battle for fourth place. "Everything is running smoothly on the car now after the initial driveshaft problem, which we seem to have resolved, we are lapping consistently quicker than anyone else, so hopefully we can continue to reduce the deficit during the night," commented Ron C. Meixner.

At the half-distance mark - 16 hours - the #23 car was up to fourth place, one lap down on the race leader. That soon became a fight for third place, and then for second. On the 16 hour mark the flying Porsche Crawford moved into the overall race lead, the culmination of a truly thrilling comeback drive from 9 laps adrift when the car had languished down the field in 39th place, and all hope at a tilt for victory seemed to have been extinguished.

After 16 hours and 6 minutes of racing, the #23 XM SATELLITE RADIO Porsche Crawford, driven by Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long, has covered 488 laps and is now in the overall lead of the Rolex 24, on the same lap as the two Chip Ganassi entries which are running in second and third place.

-vici-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Lucas Luhr , Patrick Long , Chip Ganassi , Mike Rockenfeller