Daytona Rolex 24 hour seven

By Dave Reininger -Motorsport.com Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 3, 2001) -- At the seven hour mark the Dyson No. 16 Ford Riley and Scott continues to lead the Ferrari of Risi Competizion. The Dyson entry, driven by James Weaver, Andy Wallace...

By Dave Reininger -Motorsport.com

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 3, 2001) -- At the seven hour mark the Dyson No. 16 Ford Riley and Scott continues to lead the Ferrari of Risi Competizion. The Dyson entry, driven by James Weaver, Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger, enjoyed a lead of 1:41.725 over second place with more than two-thirds of the race still to go.

The Ferrari, driven by Ralf Kelleners, Allan McNish, Eric van de Poole and David Brabham, led at the four hour mark, staying close to the leader throughout the race.

"The car is good," said McNish. "As with every year, traffic is awful. It's probably such a different standard of driving capabilities between some of us. Unfortunately for the others, they don't have a Ferrari."

"I'm still learning the car," said McNish's co-driver David Brabham, who had never driven the 333 SP before this weekend. "The conditions are quite difficult to learn anything. It's as slippery as can be."

Fifth overall and first in GTS class is the No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette of Ron Fellows, Chris Kneifel, Franck Freon and Johnny O'Connell.

"Mechanically both cars are running fine," said Corvette team manager, Doug Fehan. "Telemetry shows the motors are strong, the fluid temperatures re fine, so, so far, so good. Goodyear has produced a tire with a softer compound intended specifically for nighttime use, so it shoulld be an advantage for the next 12 hours or so."

Both of the Earnhardts, Dale and Dale Jr., have been enjoying their first Rolex 24 in the No. 3 Corvette. The car currently runs ninth overall, fourth in GTS. "It was fun," said Dale the Elder, after climbing from the bright yellow Corvette. "The biggest thing was being consistent, not doing something wrong like missing a shift or hurting the car. I was a little nervous getting in the first time. But once I got in, it was just like in practice."

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , David Brabham , Allan McNish , James Weaver , Chris Kneifel , Ralf Kelleners , Johnny O'Connell , Franck Freon