Manning leads Daytona 24

Manning leads Daytona 24

Darren Manning, driving the No. 11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley, was leading after nine hours of the 45th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The No. 01 Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of Salvador Duran was second, followed by the...

Darren Manning, driving the No. 11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley, was leading after nine hours of the 45th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The No. 01 Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of Salvador Duran was second, followed by the second Ganassi entry driven by Dan Wheldon. Duran, Scott Pruett, and Juan Pablo Montoya, looked dominant after nine hours, relinquishing the lead only during pit stops.

#11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley: Milka Duno, Patrick Carpentier, Darren Manning, Ryan Dalziel.
Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt.
"The car's running real good," said Pruett. "I'm not sure what to say. Everything is actually going real good. The main thing is that it is cooling down and our car seems like it has gotten better and better. We've really trimmed our car out to try to get straightaway speed. We gave up a little bit of cornering speed for that but it seems like since the weather has cooled down it has come back to us. We've made one brake change so far - a little sooner than we have expected. But other than that, we're just putting fuel in and going."

The No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley was racing closely with Pruett and company until it was hit from behind by a GT class Porsche during the eighth hour, sending it to the garage for repairs. "I was trying to take it easy," explained Scott Sharp, who was at the wheel of the Brumos entry when it was walloped from behind by the No. 41 Porsche. "I was just trying to get through traffic and I got tagged from behind. It's a real shame."

Manning managed to take the lead from Duran during a caution involving the No. 18 Porsche Fabcar, which slammed into a guardrail in the infield portion of the 3.54-mile Daytona road course with Gaston Mazzacane behind the wheel. The Frenchmen was transported to a local hospital for precautionary X-rays and a CAT scan.

When the caution flew, Karl Wendlinger lay fourth in the Sigal Sport BMW Riley and Hurley Haywood was fifth, one lap behind the leaders, in the second Brumos entry. Wayne Taylor, also a lap down, was sixth despite electrical problems with his team's Pontiac Riley.

Dirk Werner led the GT class in the No. 85 Farnbacher Loles Porsche.

The race's first caution did not fly until Lap 200. However, rain is forecasted for later in the evening.

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Series GRANDAM