Rolex 24 at Daytona: 18 Hours Down, 6 To Go


Compared to our first two updates for this race, this third update is relatively sedate.  The last six hours or so have been very calm, and not much has occurred, aside from pounding out the laps, keeping calm and cool and collected.  It seems like after the first 12 hours of beating and banging that the drivers went through, they’ve finally begun to calm down.  Don’t worry, though, because now that the sun has come out, they’re going to go back to scrapping for the win.  Here comes the best part of the race in the next bit!

Shortly after our last report posted, we were plunged back into a yellow flag situation as the Deltawing finally gave up the ghost.  Frankly, the car fought well, but it was a new engine and transmission in the car, combined with the fact that it had never gone this far into a race before.  The report is that it was the transmission that failed, but either way, the car didn’t make the finish.  I have to have my hat off to Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge, Alex Rossi, and Gabby Chaves for taking it as far as they did.  The car was much more competitive than it’s ever been.  Here’s hoping this engineering exercise comes good this year.

During that same caution, the RSR LMPC car, with Chris Cumming at the wheel, came to a halt on the exit of the bus stop Chicane, up against the wall.  The yellow period was extended to retrieve the car.


At 4 O’Clock this morning, the Mike Shank Racing car came down to sit in the pit stall with some issues.  It seems that another transmission had failed them, as they’ve continued to sit without a solution, and now find themselves 59 laps down.

Just before 5AM, the #1 Extreme Speed Motorsport LMP2 of David Brabham stalled and came to a stop on track.  The car was towed to pit lane under yellow.  That car has come back out, but is more than 100 laps off the lead, so it seems they’ll just circulate for as many points as they can muster.

At about 6AM, the #70 Mazda diesel prototype officially withdrew with an overheating engine.  Mazda claims they are proud of the result, as this engine has never completed more than 6 hours of racing.  Frankly, with as slow as the car was (they qualified dead last, and ran slower than all of the GT cars, about 11 seconds off the pace), they’ll surely need to work hard to find some speed.

Just after 7 this morning, the Krohn Racing highlighter-green Ferrari GTLM car stalled and stopped on the Superstretch bringing out yet another yellow.  

Just a few minutes ago, the Ganassi racing #02 of Scott Dixon had a flat tire in the infield section, and had to limp to the pits without causing more damage to the car.  As a result, they lost a lot of time to their competition, even though the car was creeping toward the lead.  


The #912 Porsche with Michael Christensen in the car, just drove behind the wall because of a “crankcase pressure issue” apparently causing an oil overflow.  The car was running second in GTLM with a decent gap to third in class.  

I would like to comment right now that I’m less than impressed with the coverage of this race.  The overnight issues with the broadcast were frustrating for the dedicated fans that stay up all night.  I’ll go into more detail on the broadcast in my wrap up post at the finish of the race.

Leaders at the 18 hour mark – 

Prototype – #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Daytona Prototype – Jordan Taylor (1st overall)

GT Le Mans – #911 Porsche 911 RSR – Patrick Pilet (7th overall)

Prototype Challenge – #54 CORE autosport Oreca FLM09 – Marc Wilkins (11th overall)

GT Daytona – #555 Level 5 Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia – Jeff Segal (20th overall)

For updates, follow me on twitter @bcbrownell and @bavariandrive.

The final update will come with the finish of the race, just after 2PM EST.

Photos provided by

Bradley C. Brownell is an Editor with, but he also contributes to his own site “BavarianDrive“. Head over there for more of his work.

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