Pat Jennings, Grand-Am press release
Michael Shank Racing’s Justin Wilson was leading after 18 hours at the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. He held a 36-second lead over Joey Hand in the first of the two Ganassi Racing BMW Rileys. Allan McNish’s Starworks Ford Riley lay third overall, one lap behind the Wilson and Hand. The Starworks car led a considerable number of laps during the late night and early morning hours, but lost a lap in the 18th hour when Lucas Luhr slid off the track, sustaining minor bodywork damage. The second Michael Shank car was two laps down, in fourth. The first of the two Action Express Corvette DPs rounded out the top-five, four laps back.
A broken shifter in the 12th hour cost the second Ganassi entry hour four laps to the leaders. And the second Starworks car was seventh, six laps down.
While Ford powered cars held down three of the top-four positions, the new Corvette Daytona Prototypes were not fairing as well. The troubles began early when the No. 5 Action Express entry experienced engine control unit issues, which the team was able to fix on the pit line, in the first hour. A short time later, the SunTrust Racing car, one of the favorites to win the race, drove to the garage with engine problems of its own. Those problems ultimately forced the team to retire from the race after having completed only 14 laps. A water pump failure in the 13th hour forced the Gainsco Bob Stallings Racing Corvette to spend more than an hour in the garage and a subsequent collision with a tire barrier in the 16th hour cost the team additional time. The second Action Express entry suffered suspension and water pump issues during the nighttime, and the Spirit of Daytona car ran into driveshaft problems.
A trio of Porsches led the way in the GT class, with Andrew Davis, driving the Brumos entry, leading Spencer Pumpelly (Racer’s Group) and Richard Lietz (Magnus Racing). Davis and Pumpelly were on the same lap, while Lietz was one lap down in GT. Two laps back in class were the fourth and fifth place runners, the Stevenson Motorsport Camaro GT.R and the first of the Risi Ferrari 458s.