Sunday has come over us at Daytona International Speedway and it’s the halfway mark in the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The teams are still looking at seven more hours of darkness and rain on the horizon, both of which will certainly play a factor in shaping the outcome of the race.
Control of the DPi class has swung back and forth between Acura and Cadillac in the past six hours. At times Acura held first and second without much of a challenge from Cadillac, and at other times the situation has been the complete opposite.
The conclusion of hour twelve saw the #31 Action Express Cadillac DPi V.R. with Pipo Derani holding onto the lead. The 2016 Rolex 24 winner Derani carrying a two-second advantage over Jordan Taylor in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi V.R..
Meanwhile the two Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPis sit in third and fourth having pitted from first and second roughly half an hour ago. Juan Pablo Montoya was handed the #6 Acura from Simon Pagenaud, and Alexander Rossi is in his second stint in the #7 Acura.
The #55 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P which suffered a fuel leak during Mazda’s dramatic ten minutes roughly five hours ago has climbed its way back into the frayt and is just one lap down.
Sebastian Saavedra holds onto the LMP2 lead in the #18 DragonSpeed ORECA 07 Gibson, he currently has a one lap advantage on the #81 DragonSpeed ORECA 07 Gibson. That #81 ORECA has Nicolas Lapierre at the helm.
Those two cars came together at the exit of the bus stop when the #18 ORECA lost grip, hitting the side of the #81 07 Gibson, both cars suffering minor body work damage, but continued without major drama.
Kris Wright and the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA 07 Gibson are in third, five laps off the leader.
The LMP2 field has spread themselves out, especially when compared to the other three classes.
Meanwhile the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports example has rejoined the race after spending a considerable amount of time in the garage following an incident late on Saturday. Enzo Guibbert has the controls and is 71 laps behind the #18.
In GT Le Mans the #3 Corvette C7.R had climbed its way into the lead of the class. A tremendous effort from the squad which had suffered steering and suspension damage earlier in the race. Antonio Garcia was in the car when it ran out of fuel from the lead of the class just moments before the halfway mark.
Meanwhile, the Porsche has continued its quiet assault on the track, the pole-sitting #911 Porsche has rarely fallen outside of the top three in the past six hours, and it now leads thanks to the troubles from the #3 Corvette.
The #912 Porsche 911 RSR, which suffered brake issues at the start of the race, is now back in the race and on the lead lap, having moved into second following a battle with the #25 BMW M8 GTE which eventually dropped down to fifth in class, behind the two Porsches and two Fords.
There will undoubtedly be battles for every position in store for the next twelve hours in the all-factory class. GTLM is shaping up to be the class to watch in this race, with most of the entries still in contention.
GT Daytona, the deepest class in the race this year, has seen the same set of familiar faces floating around the top spot. One of them being the #33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley AMG GT3, they secured North American Endurance Cup points by leading at the end of hour six, and will do the same for hour twelve.
Two seconds behind them is the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Toni Vilander. Another half a second behind them is the third-placed #96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 with Jens Klingman.
The top 11 cars in GT Daytona are all operating on the same pit stop strategy as a result of the lack of Full-Course Yellows, the race has so far only seen eight, that’s double the total from last year’s race already.