Porsche hour seventeen Rolex 24 at Daytona update

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - February 4, 2001 - Sour expressions among the tired crew members tell the story as rain has pelted the remaining cars all night and caused countless visibility and electrical problems for everyone. A prime example is the...

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - February 4, 2001 - Sour expressions among the tired crew members tell the story as rain has pelted the remaining cars all night and caused countless visibility and electrical problems for everyone.

A prime example is the #31 Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Mike Fitzgerald/Randy Pobst/Christian Menzel/Lucas Luhr, which has been battling for the GT class lead all race long.

Fitzgerald, last year's Grand American GT champion and the 2000 world-wide Porsche Cup winner, said the rain is causing all kinds of problems for the Las Vegas-based team.

"When we go more than 100 mph - which is all the way around Daytona's tri-oval, the windshield wipers aren't even touching the glass, and we just can't see," said Fitzgerald. "Also, we haven't had use of the radio all night as some wires must have gotten wet. We even replaced the radio, but that didn't help. We are now relying on a pit board and flashing of lights."

The visibility problems, along with a horsepower deficit to the BMW V8, has given the class lead back the BMW M3 with Stuck/Said/Jennings/Borcheller at the helm, with the #89 Freisinger Motorsports with Wolfgang Kaufman/Cyril Chateau/Lance Stewart Porsche 911 GT3 RS third. Fourth is the defending Rolex 24 GT championship group of drivers - Fabio Rosa/Gabrio Rosa/Fabio Babini/Alex Caffi - in the #56 Seikel Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The Seikel car lead the GT class earlier before a series a problems - including a needed radiator replacement - set them back.

Besides Porsche.com, other web sites that will follow the overall event include the Grand American Road Racing site which has live timing and scoring (www.grand-am.com), the ON TRACK site, (www.ontrackonline.com), The Race Site (www.theRaceSite.com), Speed vision site (www.speedvision.com), the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com), and www.motorsport.com.

In GTS, the #0 Bytzek Motorsports Porsche GT1, which battled the factory Corvettes early in the race before losing a transmission, is back running after a transmission swap with their backup car. Unfortunately, the car is 170 laps behind the leading Corve tte. The second Bytzek car, the #01 Porsche GT1, with Henry Bytzek/Larry Schumacher/James Holtom/John Brenner driving, has moved up into seventh place overall and third in GTS - four laps behind the Earnhardt Corvette.

Besides Porsche.com, other web sites that will follow the overall event include the Grand American Road Racing site which has live timing and scoring (www.grand-am.com), the ON TRACK site, (www.ontrackonline.com), The Race Site (www.theRaceSite.com), Speed vision site (www.speedvision.com), the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com), and www.motorsport.com.

A couple of lingering issues that need closure:

* The #38 Champion Lola/Porsche suffered a sudden loss of oil pressure which caused engine failure and a DNF. * The #76 Gunnar Racing Porsche GT1, which included Paul Newman in its stable of drivers, might have been able to continue if the crew had decided to track down the large oil leak, but owner Wayne Jackson decided to get the car home for a more permanent re pair so he can race at other events. * The #17 Red Bull Porsche 911 GT3 R lost its engine after running as high as third overall.

# # # <pre> 2001 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona - 18 Hours - Top Nine Class Standings

Car # Drivers

54 Jennings/Borcheller/Stuck/Said, BMW M3 V8, 465 laps

31 Mike Fitzgerald/Lucas Luhr/Randy Pobst/Christian Menzel, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 464 laps

86 Wolfgang Kaufman/Lance Stewart/Cyril Chateau, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 459 laps

56 Fabio Rosa/Gabrio Rosa/Fabio Babini/Alex Caffi, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 453 laps

39 Michael Petersen/Hugh Plumb/Michael Culver/Kim Hiskey, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 451 laps

43 Kyle Petty/Leo Hindry/Gian Luigi Buitoni/Peter Baron, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 450 laps

10 Rick Fairbanks/Bill Auberlen/Chris Gleason/Chris Miller, BMW M3 V8, 200 450 laps

50 Craig Stanton/Andy Hajducky/Bob Oniglia, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 448 laps

81 Darren Law/Matt Drendle/David Murry/Cort Wagner, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 448 laps

-Porsche Racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kyle Petty , David Murry , Bill Auberlen , Randy Pobst , Lucas Luhr , Peter Baron , Kim Hiskey , Darren Law , Paul Newman , Lance Stewart , Michael Culver , Hugh Plumb , Wayne Jackson , Alex Caffi , Fabio Rosa , Craig Stanton , Rick Fairbanks , Michael Petersen , Fabio Babini , Christian Menzel , Chris Miller , Cort Wagner