Six Porsches, Two BMWs Battle For GT Lead at Rolex 24 in First Four Hours; Brumos Porsche Fabcars Keep Pace in Daytona Prototype DAYTONA BEACH, FL - February 5 - After four hours of the 43rd Rolex 24 at Daytona, the ...
Six Porsches, Two BMWs Battle For GT Lead at Rolex 24 in First Four Hours; Brumos Porsche Fabcars Keep Pace in Daytona Prototype
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - February 5 - After four hours of the 43rd Rolex 24 at Daytona, the #36 TPC Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Michael Levitas/Randy Pobst/John Littlechild/Spencer Pompelly/Jean-Francois Dumoulin and the pole- sitting #71 Farnbacher Racing USA Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Wolf Henzler/Dominik Henzler/Shawn Price/Pierre Ehret lead a tight GT pack of Porsches and BMWs at a sunny, but cool Daytona International Speedway.
Henzler, who earned the pole and drove the first two hours of the event, led a flawless team effort, but, because of several long yellow flag incidents, had been unable to put any distance between him and his class rivals. Several of the other Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars have led after two series of pit stops and yellow flags, including the #75 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Johannes van Overbeek/Jon Fogarty/Seith Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik/Patrick Long. The Lizard Porsche led during early in the fourth hours when the #81 Porsche of Mae Van Wijk spun, hitting the car while Seth Neiman was driving and causing suspension and body damage. The Lizards then received an addition 13-minute penalty for excessive work in the pits - a special regulation for this race because of limited pit space. The TPC car took the lead when the Lizard car came into the pits.
Also in the lead at various times early in the event were the #65 Auto Gallery TRG Porsche of Buckler/Bunting/Lally/de Quesada/Plumb (sidelined with cooling and engine problems); the All-Australian #00 Auto Gallery TRG Porsche of Baird/Ambrose/Morris/Teulan (currently sixth in class); the #73 Baldwin- Tafel Racing Porsche of Jack Baldwin/Jim Tafel/Craig Stanton/Robin Liddell/Andrew Davis (currently 15th after a lengthy pit stop to replace a wheel stub); and #22 BMW M3 (led briefly when others pitted on a yellow).
In the Daytona Prototype class, both the #58 Red Bull Brumos Porsche Fabcar (David Donohue/Darren Law/Sascha Maassen/Lucas Luhr) and the #59 Brumos Porsche Fabcar (Hurley Haywood/J.C. France/Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller) have maintained a steady pace, with the Red Bull car running as high as second when pit stops were sorting out the field. The #59 car, which started at the back of the pack after a practice accident and rebuild, has stayed among the top 20. At the four-hour make, #58 was seventh overall and #59 was 21st (it made an extra pit stop for a ride height adjustment).