Franchitti out in front after nine hours at Daytona

Franchitti out in front after nine hours at Daytona

As the Rolex 24 at Daytona nears the halfway mark, the advantage is slowly turning to the old favorites. With nine hours in the books, the No. 02 Chip Gansssi Racing Lexus Riley of Dario Franchitti leads the way, with the sister No. 01 machine...

As the Rolex 24 at Daytona nears the halfway mark, the advantage is slowly turning to the old favorites. With nine hours in the books, the No. 02 Chip Gansssi Racing Lexus Riley of Dario Franchitti leads the way, with the sister No. 01 machine of Juan Pablo Montoya in third.

#02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley: Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Alex Lloyd.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

The top six Daytona Prototypes remain on the lead lap, with the Brumos Racing Porsche Riley of JC France occupying the second position. Timo Bernhard in Penske Racing's Porsche Riley is fourth, while Max Angelelli in the SunTrust Racing Ford Riley rounds out the top-five.

Trouble has hit the Ford camp during the nighttime hours, as three of the Blue Oval-powered machines have now retired due to failed engine sensors. The first causality was the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing entry during the fifth hour. Then came problems for the No. 76 Krohn Racing entry, and now sister No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford has retired with the same issue.

One of the biggest incidents of the eighth hour came when Antonio Garcia in the second-place running No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley smashed into the Turn 3 tire barriers, bringing out the race's eighth full course caution. Garcia limped the once-leading machine to the pits for a new nose, losing three laps and dropping to 10th overall.

In the GT class, the tables have turned back to Porsche following a pit lane incident for the then-class leading No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R. Emmanuel Collard aboard the No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car now leads the way, ahead of Matthew Marsh aboard the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche and the No. 67 TRG entry of Patrick Long.

Banner Racing's Pontiac went behind the wall for about 10 minutes replacing a broken toe link in the suspension. As Paul Edwards exited his pit box, the No. 69 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 dived in, slamming into the left side of the GXP.R. Edwards lost four laps while the team made repairs.

The No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche had also been enjoying a strong run in GT, but broke an axle in Turn 1. Fans gave Dirk Werner a helping hand in getting the car back to the garage for repairs. The car has rejoined the fray, losing 19 laps.

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Series GRANDAM