Porsches Return to the Lead Both Rolex 24 Classes at 18 Hour Mark DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- January 27, 2008 -- The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway rolled on through the night, the competitors braving grinding fatigue, occasional heavy...
Porsches Return to the Lead Both Rolex 24 Classes at 18 Hour Mark
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- January 27, 2008 -- The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway rolled on through the night, the competitors braving grinding fatigue, occasional heavy rains and tight, wheel-to-wheel competition, while setting a new record for lead changes. The Ruby Tuesday-sponsored Porsche -- powered Crawford of Alex Job Racing avoided trouble and clawed their way to back to the top of the standings to lead the Rolex 24 overall.
Thanks to a couple of dramatic double stints by teammates Patrick Long and Bill Auberlen, the Alex Job team, which started the night more than a lap down, sliced its way into first while keeping its nose out of trouble. At one point, Long, the only American Porsche factory driver in a decade, put in laps consistently three seconds faster than the leaders, despite occasional torrential rains.
"I knew we would have a really good car in the wet," Long said, "And it is really great to be back up front despite the constantly changing conditions."
While anything can happen over the course of the next 6 hours, the team is optimistic.
"The biggest challenge for us right now, is to go fast, avoid the other traffic and hope nothing breaks," said team owner and manager Alex Job. "24 hours is an awfully long time on a racetrack," he added.
The #59 Brumos Porsche Riley, with Hurley Haywood, J.C. France, Terry Borcheller, and Joao Barbosa also had a good night, and was second overall after 18 Hours.
In the GT class, the TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Romain Dumas, Emmanuel Collard, Spencer Pumpelly, Tim George Jr. and Bryan Sellers kept up its pursuit of the GT- leading Mazda, trailing by little over a lap after 18 hours. Porsches also claimed 3rd and 4th positions in the GT class, thus intensifying the pressure on the class leader.