Activity on the track began to pick up shortly after the sun set. The biggest story in the first half of the Rolex 24 is tire punctures.
Notable cars with tires issues include the No. 23 United Autosports Ligier LMP2 and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac. The one constant with these punctures is that they were all the right rear tire. With a rate of one puncture an hour, Continental Tire put out a statement on Twitter.
“Teams are pushing the envelope with low pressure & aggressive camber. When this happens, and teams are not within the parameters we set forth, problems can occur. Especially double stinting a set of tires. These are the same dry tires we’ve used for 5 years without issue. The teams within the parameters are double stinting tires with no issue,” the statement read.
The front of the pack has looked similar to the first 6 hours.
The No. 7 Team Penske Acura DPi has held the lead while occasionally trading with the two Action Express Racing Cadillacs. The No. 6 Team Penske Acura has flirted with the lead at time while battling with the Cadillacs.
One of the favorites to win this year that has had issues is the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPI, which started on the pole. They suffered a punctured tire around the 9th hour while Jordan Taylor was driving. The No. 10 is currently moving around between the 9th – 11th position.
Another favorite to win that ran into issues is the No. 23 United Autosports Ligier LMP2. They also dealt with a right rear tire puncture while Phil Hanson was driving. By the time the damage was repaired, the No. 23 lost a few laps. Then in the 11th hour, while Fernando Alonso was behind the wheel, he suddenly went to the put then got out of the car. The car was pushed back to the garage and was diagnosed with a Brake master cylinder failure.
- No. 6 – D. Cameron, JP. Montoya, S. Pagenaud
- No. 7 – H. Castroneves, R. Taylor, G. Rahal
- No. 5 – C. Fittipaldi, J. Barbosa, F. Albuquerque
- No. 31 – M. Conway, F. Nasr, S. Middleton
- No. 22 – J. Van Overbeek, P. Derani, N. Lapierre
GT Le Mans (GTLM)
The Two Chip Ganassi Racing Fords have dominated the class for the first half of the race. The two Fords are the only cars on the lead lap.
- No. 66 – S. Bourdais, J. Hand, D. Mueller
- No. 67 – S. Dixon, R. Westbrook, R. Briscoe
- No. 3 – J. Magnussen, A. Garcia, M. Rockenfeller -1 lap
- No. 4 – M. Fassler, O. Gavin, T. Milner – 1 lap
- No. 912 – L. Vanthoor, E. Bamber, G. Bruni – 1 lap
GT Daytona (GTD)
One of the more interesting developments that’ve happened so far in the race involves the car that dominated the class for the first third of the race. The No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsports Audi had to serve a five minute penalty for refueling faster than expected. The explanation IMSA gave for the penalty was “the car displayed a level of performance outside of the accepted tolerance.”
The top spot has changes hands multiple times since the penalty took the No. 29 out of contention. Currently the top 5 cars are the only on the lead lap.
- No. 11 – F. Perera, M. Bortolotti, R. Ineichen, R. Breukers
- No. 86 – K. Legge, A. Parente, T. Hindman, A. Allmendinger
- No. 48 – B. Sellers, B. Miller, M. Snow, A. Caldarelli
- No. 64 – B. Sweedler, T. Bell, F. Montecalvo
- No. 44 – J. Potter, A. Lally, A. Davis