SUNRISE

No.9 Action Express DP. Photo by Mark Weber

No.9 Action Express DP. Photo by Mark Weber

At sunrise, JOAO BARBOSA/No.9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype was leading the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It’s the sister car to last year’s winner, No.59 Brumos Racing. Sunrise is just a word. The cloud cover spoiled that. Barbosa swapped the lead back and forth with Mad MAX PAPIS/No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley DP. This Ganassi car has led more than 100 laps, just adding to the Ganassi domination this weekend.

Grand-Am live Timing & Scoring shows that No.9 has also led more than 100 laps. Hmmm.

No sooner than I edited this piece to post, Pole Sitter MAX ANGELELLI/No.10 Sun Trust Racing Ford Dallara eclipsed the fast lap set by RAPHAEL MATOS/No.59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley DP.  Obviously all the repair work done on the Sun Trust car took. Angelelli turned a 126.764 mph/204.006 kph.

The Dallara suffered not just not gear box issues, but drive train, rear end and then more gear box problems, after PEDRO LAMY hit the pit exit wall after spinning out on cold tires. The damage was worse than originally thought and even team owner WAYNE TAYLOR was wrenching the car. It went back out, 46 laps behind.

A second DP has retired – No.90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche Coyote has parked it after burning a piston. The No.2 Beyer Racing Chevrolet Crawford DP may as well be retired. It’s been struggling and was pitted for a long while. DANE CAMERON took it out but it didn’t complete its 320th lap, and went back in.

The four Ganassi drivers from the retired BMW Riley DP will be having a go into the sister car.

The only two DP’s not leading a lap are No.55 Crown Royal/NPN Racing BMW Riley and the retired Coyote.

The No.99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley DP spent a mere 12 minutes in the garage replacing the gear stack after chipping the first gear. But it put the team nine laps behind and it’s still working on playing catchup.

SPENCER PUMPELLY/No.71 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup is leading the GT class, in ninth position overall.

The Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle No.41 Mazda RX-8 GT is running a ways down in the GT category – hovering around twenty-ninth. However, it has already raised $300,000 for the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

MATT CONNOLLY is not having a good hair day. On my last tour through the garage, all three of his MCM Motorsports were in the garage. No.19 Corvette was having work done for transmission problems. No. 20 Porsche GT3 Cup died – locked up motor. No.21 has had a plethora of problems. Driver SPENCER TRENERY only drove in the initial laps of the race, and the car has spent more time in the garage than on track.

TRG had some agro also, with two cars in the garage. No.18 TRG/Guardian Angel Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup GT blew the gearbox, while it was running fourteenth in class. It’s all amateur drivers, in their sophomore year of racing the Rolex. Their goal was a top ten finish, or at least better than last year’s P18. The time in the garage is compromising its fund raising efforts for children’s charities.

Another TRG car, No.63 Porsche blew a water pump and gear box. It hit the tire wall twice. One crew said it hit everything but the pace car. The team is still beavering away on the car.

Miller Barrett Racing No.48 Porsche GT3 Cup GT broke a gear box and the team was working on it.

Weather Channel says it’s 48 degrees F but feels like 43. No kidding. I’m making good use of all those extra warm clothes and Ugg boots I brought.

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