Rolex 24 16-Hour Report: ...
Rolex 24 16-Hour Report: #65 GTO.R Still Leading GTs
#65 TRG GTO.R Locked in Heated Battle for First With #36 TPC Racing Porsche; Two Pontiac Daytona Prototypes Remain in Top Ten
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - For the last four hours, the #65 TRG GTO.R of Andy Lally, Marc Bunting, R. J. Valentine and Johnny O'Connell has been in either first or second in the GT class, more often than not leading the field throughout the first half of the third quarter of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The production-based Pontiac race car is almost neck-and-neck with the #36 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup and has occasionally broken into the top-ten cars overall.
"Our #64 GTO.R is holding ground after being damaged earlier," said Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner. "We had to come back in to repair some damage that was caused by the suspension failure. The #65 car has been right up at the top and I'm really proud of those guys. I hope they can hang in there and I really hope they can get ahead of that #36 car."
In the Daytona Prototype class, two Pontiacs remain in the top ten but one recently headed to the garage to look at what driver Jorg Bergmeister narrowed down to a gearbox problem.
"I had problems in the first three gears," said Bergmeister. "I found myself having to use the clutch to upshift and the car didn't want to stay in gear. I hope our mechanics can figure it out quickly. Right now we haven't lost much ground yet but if we're in the garage much longer we will."
The other Pontiac DP still in the top ten is the #7 CITGO Racing by SAMAX and it has stayed in the 10th position for roughly an hour.
"Our Daytona Prototype effort has been hampered by accidents and some mechanical problems but our remaining cars are persevering," said Jim Lutz, Grand American program manager for Pontiac. "Many of our top teams from last year have withdrawn but we still have eight of thirteen cars still on the track. With more than seven hours of the race still remaining, anything can happen and we're still optimistic."