Technology may be wonderful and all that, but only when it’s working. With so much wireless technology at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Media Center’s Internet access has been intermittent at best. My material will come as best as it can when it can.

BRIAN REDMAN is the Grand Marshal for the 47th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He ran his first 24 Hours of Daytona back in 1968 and has won three times in three different cars.

The weather started out warm and sunny, at 72 degrees F.

Several drivers and team have commented early on that the pace of the race is quite fast, almost like a 24-hour sprint race.

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No.01 Lexus Riley DP  Photo by MARK WEBER
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No.01 Lexus Riley DP Photo by MARK WEBER

TIMO BERNHARD/No.16 Penske Racing Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype passed pole sitter DAVID DONOHUE/No.58 Brumos Porsche Riley DP on the second lap. Penske and the two Brumos DP’s swapped the lead for the first two hours, with SCOTT DIXON/No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley leading one lap.

TIM CINDRIC, President of Penske Racing, in explaining why it had a fuel window of 40 minutes compared to the average 60 minutes for the rest of the DP field, said that the Penske car was having some fuel problems which the team was diagnosing.

RYAN BRISCOE, newly engaged to TV broadcaster NICOLE MANSKE, is one of the three Penske drivers this weekend. Briscoe is the full-time driver for Penske’s Indy Racing League IndyCar team. Briscoe said he enjoys racing the Riley DP, but prefers his IndyCar. It is heavier, faster and has more downforce. And, with a twinkle in his eye while denying he meant this in a selfish way, “I have it all to myself.” Briscoe said racing solo in a car means it is set up specifically for him.

Pole sitter SpeedSource No.70 Mazda RX-8  Photo by MARK WEBER
Pole sitter SpeedSource No.70 Mazda RX-8 Photo by MARK WEBER

It took less than seven laps for Bernhard to start lapping the GT class cars. GT Pole sitter SYLVAIN TREMBLAY led briefly before being overtaken by ANDY LALLY/No.67 TRG Porsche GT3.

Krohn Racing, which switched to the new Lola chassis last year, has now switched engines. It went from last year’s Pontiac back to Ford-Roush Yates motors. With the economic downturn, Pontiac has withdrawn its track support. The cars ran well in all the pre-season tests and started the race full of confidence. The team fields No.75 Ford Riley DP with OLIVER GAVIN, TRACY KROHN and ERIC van de POELE, and No.76 Ford Riley, with NIC JONSSON, DARREN TURNER, and RICARDO ZONTA.

Michael Shank Racing No.60 Ford Riley DP  Photo by MARK WEBER
Michael Shank Racing No.60 Ford Riley DP Photo by MARK WEBER

COLIN BRAUN/No.60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley DP was the last NASCAR driver to get to Daytona, coming in late from the NASCAR Charlotte Media Tour. Turned out that Thursday was the all-day Roush Fenway Open House and Braun, who races for RF in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, had to attend. He got into the DP for the first time in Night Practice.

The Braun family is racing through and through. Father JEFF BRAUN, veteran sports car race engineer, was working full time the past few years for Krohn Racing on the No.75 car. This year Jeff took a sabbatical from full-time Grand-Am and is working with AIM Motorsport No.61 as engineer for the Rolex 24 and will work whenever the team runs a second car during the season. Jeff wanted to be available to attend Colin’s NASCAR races. Mother DIANE BRAUN’s role during the 24 hours is the care and feeding of family. Younger brother, TRAVIS, who has worked as both a data acquisition engineer and then motorsports journalist for the Rolex 24 is now attending Franklin Journalism College and was required to go on a biology field trip…to Belize. He is still filing stories for USA Today.

At the end of the second hour Brumos Racing No.58 was leading DP, Farnbacher Loles No.87 Porsche GT3 Cup was leading GT, and Braun’s car was running ninth. Krohn’s two cars were running eighth (No.76) and sixteenth (No.75).

There have been no cautions so far.