</pre> DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - February 3 2001 - An early end for a veteran racer and actor, strong runs for a Porsche prototype and "vintage" GT1s, and a battle in the GT class are the developing Porsche stories as the Rolex 24 finishes...
</pre> DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - February 3 2001 - An early end for a veteran racer and actor, strong runs for a Porsche prototype and "vintage" GT1s, and a battle in the GT class are the developing Porsche stories as the Rolex 24 finishes its fifth hour.
The Paul Newman/Wayne Jackson/Gunnar Jeannette/Michael Brockman Porsche Racing GT1 had an early turbo oil leak which took 45 minutes to fix, but another leak - this time massive engine oil leak of unknown origin - sent the team packing after only 20 more m inutes of track time.
"I would like to race the car at other events this year," said Jackson, the car owner, "and we would risk damaging the motor if we can't find the leak. Although we are disappointed, we did have fun while it lasted."
In the overall Sports Racer Prototype class, the Champion Racing Lola/Porsche - with Hurley Haywood/Dorsey Schroeder/Bob Wollek/Sascha Maassen in the driver stable - has settled into its fourth place position, with Dorsey Schroeder starting in the car and Bob Wollek now driving. The car's only problem was a front-end vibration which caused an extra pit stop, but was solved by changing the front tires. Also, while Hurley Haywood was in the car, there was a miscommunication in the pits, and he stayed in the car for a second stint when the crew thought that Sascha Maassen was getting in. The Champion team had individual windscreens for each driver, and Hurley found himself trying to see over the screen designed for a taller Maassen. He tore off the screen s o he could seen, but all the water from the track shorted out the radio. He labelled his driver the "stint from hell," but he said the car was running well.
In GTS, the #0 Bytzek Motorsport Porsche GT1 of Klaus Bytzek/Scott Maxwell/David Empringham/Richard Spenard is in fourth place, behind the two factory Corvettes and the Marcos.
The GT battle continues between the BMW M3 V8 and the Porsche 911 GT3 R and RS race cars. After five hours, the BMW leads by a half-lap over the #31 Lucas Luhr/Mike Fitzgerald/Randy Pobst/Christian Menzel Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, with Seike l Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RS with Rosa/Rosa/Babini/Caffi in third. The Rolex 24 debut of NASCAR driver Kyle Petty is going well so far, with the Petty/Baron/Hindery/Luigi Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS running sixth.
Another one of the pre-race GT favorites, the #81 G&W Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Darren Law/Matt Drendle/David Murry/Cort Wagner, is languishing in ninth place after losing ten minutes in the pits changing a fuel pump. But the car is only four laps out of the GT class lead with more than 75 percent of the race still remaining.
In all, 34 Porsches started the race, with 24 of them in the GT class.
The third and fourth hours brought both darkness and rain to the Daytona International Speedway, and most of the team changed to wet tires, but by the end of hour five, the course was dry enough to change back to slicks.
The #68 Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Buckler/Earle/Michaelian/Malagamuwa had a narrow escape when the #6 . Nissan Lola hit the wall and wenbt airborne at NASCAR turn four, flying upside down over the surprised Steve Earle, who was driving the Porsche No one was hurt, and the Porsche was only slightly damaged, but the Nissan was destroyed.
Besides Porsche.com, other web sites that will follow the overall event include the Grand American Road Racing site which has live timing and scoring (www.grand-am.com), the ON TRACK site, (www.ontrackonline.com), The Race Site (www.theRaceSite.com), Speed vision site (www.speedvision.com), the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com), and www.motorsport.com.