Rolex 24 At Daytona Hour 23: One To Go For Ganassi

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With one hour to go and a comfortable four lap lead, the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley with Scott Pruett behind the wheel is one hour away from a Rolex 24 At Daytona victory.

Ahead for the last four hours and 658 laps behind them, the Ganassi Team is poised to claim the top spot in the 46th edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway. To this point, the No. 01 has led 216 of the 658 laps.

Alex Gurney in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley stood in second place for the second straight hour four laps down while Ryan Briscoe in the No. 9 Penske-Taylor Racing Pontiac / Riley remains third (seven laps down) as the 24-hour classic neared its end on the historic 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course.

 

Raphael Matos steered the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX into 9th position, leading the GT Class followed by Andy Lally in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (10th place overall) and Emanuel Collard in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup in (11th place overall).

Hour 22
Juan Pablo Montoya and his No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley remained the only car on the lead lap as the 46th edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona closed in on the checkered flag Sunday morning at Daytona International Speedway.

 

Montoya piloted the No. 01 to the top position followed by defending NASCAR Champion Alex Gurney in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley (five laps down) and Helio Castroneves in the No. 9 Penske-Taylor Racing Pontiac / Riley (seven laps down).

As the 24-hour classic neared its end on the historic 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course, Raphael Matos steered the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX into the Top 10, leading the GT Class followed by Bryce Miller  in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup.

 

Hour 21

With only one car on the lead lap and three hours until the green flag, Juan Pablo Montoya piloted the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley to

the front of the pack as the 21st hour of the 46th edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona came to a close.

 

No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley has led 160 of 603 laps.

As the 24-hour classic neared its end on the historic 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course, Jimmie Johnson in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley sat in second place, six laps behind the leader.

 

Burt Frisselle in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley held a slim 1.5-second lead over Montoya until the 10:15 a.m. mark when it encountered a suspension problem, dropping seven laps, third behind the leader.  

In the GT Division, Nick Ham in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-moved into the Top 10, leading the GT Class followed by Ted Ballou in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup.

 

Hour 20

Just four hours from the finish, Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley held a 14-second lead over Burt Frisselle in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley.

 

The skies cleared, the track dried, but the air remained chilly as the 46th edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway neared its end on the historic 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course.

Joey Hand in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford placed third behind Montoya and Frisselle.

 

Joao Barbosa in the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche / Riley, hoping to hand teammate and sportscar legend Hurley Haywood his 6th Rolex 24 At Daytona title, held the lead in the 18th hour but relinquished it with single-car incident in NASCAR Turn 4 on lap 550 just after 8:30 a.m. bringing out the 20th full-course caution of the event.

Said Haywood, “We were running the perfect race. We got securely into first place. A tie rod broke, a bolt that holds it on, and sat him (Barbosa) right into the wall. You want to cry almost.”
In the GT Division, Sylvain Tremblay in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (13th overall), led the GT Class followed by Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (14th overall).

 

Hour 19

Joao Barbosa wheeled the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche / Riley into first place, setting up the possibility of handing

legend and teammate Hurley Haywood his 6th Rolex 24 At Daytona championship.

 

More than 540 laps into the twice-around-the-clock classic, Barbosa held less than a one-second lead over Memo Rojas in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley as the 46th edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at historic Daytona International Speedway neared its end.

In the 19th hour, Ian James in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley, despite a mishap in the horseshoe on lap 537, held on to third place on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course.
Raphael Matos in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (12th overall), led the GT Class.

 

Hour 18

Scott Pruett and Jon Fogerty played a game of cat and mouse early Sunday morning as the two traded the lead back and forth in hour 18 of the Rolex 24 At Daytona from historic Daytona International Speedway.

 

At the end of the 18th hour and with only six hours remaining in the 46th edition of the round-the-clock classic, defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champion Scott Pruett in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley held on to the lead by the slimmest of margins.

Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley put his car in second place before being relieved by Jimmy Vasser at the 7:25 a.m. mark as the sun tried to peek through the early chilly overcast skis over the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course.

 

Ian James in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley sat in third place after 519 laps.

Sportscar legend Hurley Haywood wheeled the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche / Riley into fourth place before being relieved by Joao Barbosa. Joey Hand in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche / Crawford and Johnny O’Connell in the No. 91 Bob Stallings / Riley-Matthews Pontiac / Riley rounded out the top six places in the event, all Daytona Prototypes.

 

Raphael Matos in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (13th overall), led the GT Class.

Hour 17

 

The rain let up, but Scott Pruett didn’t as he picked up two spots in 60 minutes to take the lead at the end of the 17th hour in sportscars’ most prestigious race – the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

With seven hours to the checkered flag, Scott Pruett in the No. 01 TELMEX

href="http://laptrax12.racersites-cluster.com/OrbitsServer/jsp/ViewPage.jsp?sid=85&CARNUMBER=01">Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley overcame Ian James in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley and Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley to lead the field as morning descended on Daytona International Speedway.

 

Five cars, all Daytona Prototypes, were on the lead lap as 15 different drivers have led the celebrated event since the race began.

The GT Series saw David Haskell in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (13th overall), Bryce Miller in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (14th overall) and Emanuel Collard in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (16th overall) round out the top 3 in the GT Division.

 

With seven hours to go, a new record for number of lead changes in the Rolex 24 was set. There have been 50 in this year’s race, six more than the previous record of 44 set in 2005.

Hour 16

 

As rain continued to fall early Sunday morning at “The World Center or Racing”, AJ Allmendinger piloted his No. 6 blue and white Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley to the top of the charts at the end of the 16th hour in sportscars’ most prestigious race – the Rolex 24 At Daytona.  

Jon Fogarty, in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley made an unexpected pit stop at lap 443 for a new nose cone that put him a lap down early in the hour. However he was able to make it back to the lead lap, moving into second place, trailing the leader by 52 seconds as the race continued into the early morning.
 
Scott Pruett in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley stood in third place, more than one minute off the pace after 466 laps.
The GT Series inched closer to a top 10 position as Richard Westbrook in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (13th overall), Nick Ham in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (14th overall) and Spencer Pumpelly in his No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (15th overall) rounded out the top 3 in the GT Division.
 
Hour 15
 
As the rain pelted historic Daytona International Speedway 15 hours into the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona, AJ Allmendinger piloted his No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley to the front of the pack in the

46th running of the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona.
 
NASCAR rookie Dario Franchitti in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley was a mere 6.2 seconds behind Allmendinger with Marc Goossens in the No. 91 Bob Stallings/ Riley-Matthews Pontiac / Riley third.
 
Jon Fogarty  in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley was the only other car on the lead lap.with 438 laps in the books.
 
Pole winner, the No. 60 Oswaldo Negri Jr. in the Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley sat in 8th place overall.

 

The GT Series saw Nick Ham in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (13th overall), Richard Westbrook in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (14th overall) and  Spencer Pumpelly in his No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup, one lap down (15th overall) rounded out the top 3 in the GT Division. 

Hour 14
 
NASCAR made its mark in the early morning of the Rolex 24 At Daytona with the top three positions held by Sprint Cup regulars.
 
The 14th hour saw Jimmie Johnson in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings RacingPontiac / Riley, Dario Franchitti in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus / Riley and AJ Allmendinger in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley in the top three positions. 
 
Daytona Prototypes held the top 13 positions with 10 hours to go in the prestigious event with Spencer Pumpelly in his No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup leading the GT Class, 14th overall.
 
Hour 13
 
Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley overtook Alex Gurney, in the No. 99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings RacingPontiac / Riley in the 13th hour to capture the lead at the 46th running of the Rolex 24 At

Daytona.
 
With just over 11 hours to go in the twice around the clock classic, five DP’s set the pace on the lead lap, led by Montoya who held a 13.9-second lead over Gurney, whose father Dan served as the race’s Grand Marshal. 
 
Burt Frisselle in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley continued to place third.
 
Bryan Sellers in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup led the field in the GT class, 16th overall, followed by Andy Lally behind the wheel of the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup (17th) and Sylvain Tremblay in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 (18th).
 
Hour 12
 
The No. 99 GAINSCO/ Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley is halfway home.
 
Alex Gurney, whose father Dan served as the race’s Grand Marshal, led the field halfway home early Sunday morning at sportscars’ most prestigious race - The Rolex 24 At Daytona. 
 
Twelve hours into it, Gurney, in the NO. 99 GAINSCO/ Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley.
led the  five prototypes on the lead lap at Daytona International Speedway, outpacing Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley. Burt Frisselle in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley placed third 19 seconds behind.
 
Paul Edwards leads the field in the GT class in his No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R. The No. 17

href="http://laptrax12.racersites-cluster.com/OrbitsServer/jsp/ViewPage.jsp?sid=85&CARNUMBER=67">TRG Porsche GT3 Cup, piloted by Tomain Dumas stood in second as the twice-around-the-clock challenge continued.
 
 Hour 10
 
The Rolex 24 is in its 10th hour and is approaching 300 laps.
 
The twice-around-the-clock challenge has lived up to its expecations with 15 different leaders and six Daytona Prototypes on the same lap.
 
Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 Lowe’s/GAINSCO Pontiac Riley is at the point with the consistently strong No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley of Ian James close behind.
 
Michael Shank Racing, which switched from Lexus power to Ford powerplants, continues to post a strong effort with its second entry -- the pole winning No. 60 car -- in seventh place.
 
The No. 59 Brumos Porsche team, which is co-driven by five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood, is also having a good Rolex 24 currently sitting in fifth place.
 
The No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley, which was a leader early on, did run into some problems. They went off track briefly with a mechanical issue, took a spin and now is eight laps back in 14th.
 
Both of the Cheever Racing entries have now dropped out of the event. The Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Coyote Cars was forced to retire in the seventh hour with mechanical problems while the other Cheever Racing entry – the No. 51 RML AD Racing Group – was forced to withdraw after two hours of competition due to engine complications.
 
The GT class is also featured tough competition. There are currently five GT class cars on the same lap battling for the lead with the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda and David Haskell in the lead.
 
Hour 9
 
After nine hours, A.J. Allmedinger and the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley are maintaining an 18-second lead over the No. 99 Lowe’s/GAINSCO Pontiac Riley of Jon Fogarty in the Rolex 24. In third place is the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford with Patrick Long.
 
In all, there are seven Daytona Prototypes on the same lap battling for the overall lead.
 
The GT class continues to remain tight with four entries – two TRG Porsches, one Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche and the SpeedSource Mazda battling it out for the top spot.
 
Hour 8
 
A.J. Allmedinger and the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley have a nine-second lead over the No. 99 Lowe’s/GAINSCO Pontiac Riley of Jon Fogarty after eight hours of the Rolex 24. The competition is fierce with seven Daytona Prototypes on the same lap battling for the overall lead.
 
In the GT class, the competition is equally competitive. The No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda holds the class lead.
 
Hour 7
 
The Rolex 24 overall lead still belongs to the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford with Bill Auberlen behind the wheel but the race still is wide open with seven Daytona Prototypes on the lead lap.
 
A couple of the NASCAR drivers have hopped out of the car after stints and given their reactions.
 
Said 2006 Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson: “I had a great experience out there. We have a great car, we’re just really trying to stick to our rhythm. I tried not to put the car into any bad situations. Even doing that, I found myself in a sandwich with two Porsches. At first it didn’t bother me because I’m use to the rubbing with the Sprint Cup car. Then I remember you can’t touch people with these. There are some Martinsville doughnuts on the side of this thing right now and it is from yours truly.”
 
Like Johnson, Kurt Busch was thrilled with his stint in the No. 9 Penske-Taylor Racing Pontiac Riley.
 
“I’m smiling from ear to ear just loving the fact that I was driving at night in the rain, something that I’ve never done before, and our car is in the top 10 on the lead,” Busch said. There’s still a long way to go. The mentality I took was just protect the race and let some of the faster guys with more experience go ahead.”
 
In the GT class, the competition is equally competitive. The No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda holds the class lead on the same lap with the No. 66 TRG Porsche and the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche.
 
The race has covered almost 200 laps and has had 14 different leaders.
 
Hour 6
 
The No. 23 Alex Job Racing and driver Joey Hand hold the overall lead by more than 40 seconds while a pack of five other Daytona Prototypes cars are in a tight battle behind.
 
The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley went behind the wall with electrical issues while the No.

02 Chip Ganassi Racing returned to the track.
 
The No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Racing team holds the GT class lead.
 
Rain did pass over the Speedway but quickly moved out as the weather conditions continue to change.
 
Hour 5
 
Night has set in over Daytona International Speedway
 
The No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley, which led earlier in the race with Scott Dixon, suffered major front end damage when Salvador Duran slid off the track in the infield portion and took a run through the grass. Duran, which just took over the driving duties, has taken the car to the garage for significant repairs.
 
The accident brought out the full course caution.
 
Colin Braun in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley holds the overall lead. In charge of the GT class is the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche and Leh Keen. There are five GT class drivers on the same lap.
 
Currently, there have been 12 different leaders in the race.
 
Hour 4
 
Eleven lead changes have taken place in the first four hours of the Rolex 24.
 
The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley and driver Ricardo Zonta currently holds a 42-second lead over the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley and the No. 9 Penske-Taylor Racing Pontiac Riley.
 
Patrick Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy got off to a rough start on his first driving stint in the No. 40 Hyper Sport Mazda in the Rolex 24 brushing the wall leaving pit lane and then ran off in the International Horseshoe.
 
In the GT class, the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R holds an one-lap lead.
 
GT class traffic for the Daytona Prototypes has been a hot topic after drivers are getting out of the car.
 
“It’s brutal,” said Michael Shank Racing’s A.J. Allmendinger. “It’s so bad out there right now. It’s a struggle just trying to figure out where everybody is going. We were catching the GT cars in groups of like 10 cars. That’s something the last couple of years that I don’t remember catching groups of cars like that. It’s always going to be like that. It’s always going to be a struggle. You just got to stay clean and be patient when you have to

be.”
 
Hour 3
 
The No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley with Scott Dixon remains in the overall lead after the third hour in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, while the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 with Emmanuel Collard takes the lead in the GT class.
 
The No. 61 AIM Autosports Ford Riley with Brian Friselle trails Dixon by one lap. The 2007 Daytona 500 Champion Jimmie Johnson is now behind the wheel of the No. 99 GAINSCO Bob Stallings Pontiac Riley  replacing Alex Gurney’s three hours stint.
 
At the conclusion of the third hour, nine different lead changes have already taken place, with 12 laps under caution. Eighty-nine laps have been completed.
  
Hour 2
 
Two hours are now in the books in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and driver changes have begun in the endurance race.
 
The race has just restarted with the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley and Scott Dixon in the overall lead with the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda leading the GT class.
 
The No. 40 Hyper Sport Mazda GT class entry with Charles Espenlaub has hit a speed bump with a cut left front tire and other damages to the car which brought out the second full course caution. Sharing the driving duties on the No. 40 are Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Romeo Kapudija and Scott Maxwell.
 
Weather conditions are ever changing but the sun is starting to come out on Daytona International Speedway. Sixty laps have now been completed.
 
Hour 1 
 
The 46th anniversary of the Rolex 24 is now underway.
Following a flyover by three Navy F-5 Tigers based out of Key West, Dan Gurney, the Grand Marshal, gave the command, “Drivers, start your engines.”
 
A.J. Allmendinger in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley led the first lap of the twice-around-the-clock challenge but problems have already started early for a variety of teams.
 
The No. 29 Alegra Porsche had problems even before they crossed the start/finish line to take the green flag cutting down a tire and making contact with two other GT class machines.
 
About a half a hour into the race, Helio Castoneves and the No. 9 Penske-Taylor Racing Pontiac Riley cut down a right front

tire which caused damage to the front end.
 
Currently, the No. 7 Sigalsport BMW Riley with Matt Plumb is currently atop the overall leader board with a 3.6-second lead followed by Alex Gurney in the No. 99 Bob Stallings/GAINSCO Pontiac Riley and Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley.
 
In the GT class, the No. 81 Synergy Racing Porsche leads with driver Patrick Huisman with the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche and driver Dirk Werner
 
 
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