the Florida-based team had to contend with debris and cold conditions while trading the lead with its CORE Autosports LMPC rival.
As the sun rises over Daytona International Speedway, 8Star Motorsports is embroiled in a battle royale for the LMPC class victory in the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
Throughout the long night, the Florida-based team had to contend with debris and cold conditions while trading the lead with its CORE Autosports LMPC rival.
As the race approached its 17th hour, Tom Kimber-Smith was again pressing to retake the initiative and break into the top ten overall.
Damage ultimately removed Starworks from the fray, leaving 8Star and its Venezuelan owner, Potolicchio, as CORE Autosports’ sole challenger for the LMPC class lead.
Rob Huff – the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Champion – took over from Potolicchio. The lead changed hands with every visit to the pits, but Huff kept applying the pressure by lapping consistently quicker than the CORE Autosports entry in only his first experience of the Rolex 24.
At 23.00 local time, Huff completed a tough triple stint before handing 8Star’s ORECA FLM09 prototype back to fellow Briton Kimber-Smith.
The former Le Mans 24 Hours winner continued the fight, with Potolicchio and gentleman driver Mike Marsal stinting through the small hours and Huff returning to the cockpit to complete the rotation
The biggest drama to befall the team during the 13 hours of darkness was a collision with an Aston Martin from the GTD class. The clash caused minor damage to the rear of the ORECA and wasn’t significant enough to effect the team's position at the front.
A small exhaust fire in pit road also created spectacular scenes as Kimber-Smith began his third stint of the race. Fortunately, the quick-thinking 8Star Motorsports squad was on hand to extinguish the blaze and ensure the car continued without delay.
With seven hours remaining, the end is beginning to come into view for 8star Motorsports and its four drivers.