Midnight hour strikes in Daytona 24H race

Nine hours of racing, mixed in with early rain and cautions, for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series contenders but they have a long way left to go before the 48th winning team at the Rolex 24 in Daytona is crowned. Will it before the dominant...

Nine hours of racing, mixed in with early rain and cautions, for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series contenders but they have a long way left to go before the 48th winning team at the Rolex 24 in Daytona is crowned. Will it before the dominant Chip Ganassi Racing team or perhaps Brumos Racing will repeat last year's victory -- either way they still have 15 hours of pushing their Daytona Prototypes (DP) and Grand Touring (GT) cars to the limit.

Midnight came and went with (approximately) eight still on the lead lap when pit stops came into play 28 minutes later, changing who held the top spot at the nine hour mark. While some of the top team, including the overall leaders: CGR's No. 02 with Juan Pablo Montoya in the cockpit. A normal occurrence in endurance racing.

At the nine hour mark, it was the No. 6 from Michael Shank Racing holding the lead, covering 265 laps, in their Ford Riley. The defending team, Brumos Racing's Porsche Riley was second followed by the Crown Royal/NPN Racing's No. 95 with an all-star sportscar and openwheel lineup in the BMW Riley.

Michael Shank Racing's AJ Allmendinger said after seven hours, "The car was pretty loose so I just couldn't quite keep up with the leader. But it's still very early and we have a very long way to go yet. I'm glad that Valiante got to do the first stint--the conditions are really challenging out there and he is so fast in these cars, I am glad we had him driving at the start! We have a stuck gurney, so we are limited on top-end, but the car is very good. I'm tire, but hopefully I'll be back for a good close to the race tomorrow!"

In GT, the hot battle between the Porsche and Camaro teams was still a close fight with the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R holding the edge and only 10 laps off the pace of the leading DP cars.

On pace with the Camaro was two Porsche GT3s out of the TRG camp. The No. 71 was a notch ahead of the Porsche shared by TRG and the Flying Lizard Motorsports team.

While the top-budget teams run for the gold, some of the lower budget teams would like to finish on the podium some of them are turning laps to raise funds good causes. Two in particular are Team Seattle and Bullet Racing and both are putting on great performances. Bullet Racing is now fifth in the GT class.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Stevenson Motorsports , Michael Shank Racing