DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2012) – Halfway through the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona things were still trending in the direction of it being anybody’s race.
At the 12-hour mark, nine different leaders had paced the field with the defending race and series champion No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley Daytona Prototype of Chip Ganassi Racing and its sister No. 02 Target BMW/Riley dominating large portions.
Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Graham Rahal and Joey Hand piloted the No. 01 while Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Jamie McMurray and Dario Franchitti wheeled the No. 02. However, at 2:44 a.m. the No. 02 with Dixon at the wheel went to the garage to repair a broken shifter. The repair took only five minutes but the car returned to the speedway in ninth place, three laps down. It went down a fourth lap before completing one circuit.
The car later went to the pits for an extended stop shortly before 3 a.m.
That opened things up for the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley shared by pole-sitter Ryan Dalziel, Enzo Potolicchio, Alex Popow, Lucas Luhr and Allan McNish which spent appreciable time at the point along with the No. 60 Liveon.com Ford/Riley of A.J. Allmendinger, Ozz Negri, John Pew and Justin Wilson, which also saw time at the point.
Leading at halfway the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport team earned five points toward the inaugural North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com and is now tied with Spirit of Daytona with seven points.
Points are awarded on a 5-4-3-2 basis. Teams will also earn points at the 18-hour and 24-hour mark of the Rolex 24.
The series continues in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen on July 1, and concludes with the Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Based on their lead at the six-hour mark, Oliver Gavin and co-drivers Antonio Garcia, Richard Westbrook and Jan Magnussen held the early advantage. The drivers of the No. 90 Corvette DP earned five points. Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty and Memo Gidley were awarded four points; Joey Hand, Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Graham Rahal three points; and the remainder of the DP field two points.
Brumos Racing and drivers Andrew Davis, Leh Keen and Marc Lieb led the GT battle at the halfway mark, but Magnus Racing drivers Andy Lally, John Potter, Richard Lietz and Rene Rast currently hold the lead in the North American Endurance Championship in the GT class with eight points as a result of finishing the 6-hour and 12-hour marks in the second position.