The 2019 edition of the Rolex 24 Hours has been red flagged for a second time, with just under two hours to go. This is the first time in Rolex 24 history, that the race has been red flagged twice.
It was stopped earlier in the morning due to the heavy rain, and after multiple attempts to get the race running again (read the updates at the bottom of this story for more info), and countless incidents during the short green-flag periods (and at times under FCY conditions), the organisers decided to red flag the race for a second time with the conditions worsening.
It remains to be seen whether or not the race will resume again, with the forecasts still showing constant rain through 14:30 local time, when the race is due to finish.
The Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac leads, as it did before the first red, though since then it’s been a three-way fight between the #10, #31 Action Express Cadillac and #7 Penske Acura after the #6 Penske Acura dropped out of contention with mechanical woes.
LMP2 meanwhile, is still led by DragonSpeed, the American outfit saved by the red flag potentially, after Sebastien Saavedra crashed the leading #18 ORECA at Turn 1, damaging the front, forcing him in for repairs. This opened the door for the heavily delayed Performance Tech ORECA to take the lead from four laps down, but the stoppage came before Brent O’Neill’s car could move up a place.
This came after the #81 DragonSpeed ORECA stopped out on track suddenly, and lost the lead it had led for most of the second half of the race midway through Hour 22.
GTLM also saw a shakeup, with the #25 BMW Team RLL M8 taking the lead right as the red flag came out after a gamble on straegy for the #67 Ford crew failed to pay off. Richard Westbrook was leading the class, but ran out of fuel, and as he came in for a stop the pit lane was closed due to the stoppage, dropping him to third in the class.
Second is the #62 Risi Ferrari, which continues to be a contender in the tricky conditions, and looks like a potential winner should the race resume.
The top 13 GT Daytona class are all on the same pit stop cycle, and the lead in the class is currently being held by the #11 GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 — last year’s race winners. They moved into that position shortly before the second red flag was shown thanks to spins from the #33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley, and the #29 Montaplast By Land Audi R8 LMS GT3, both of whom spun out of the lead in the wet conditions.
Second in the class, as it stands now is the aforementioned #29 Audi R8 LMS GT3, behind them is the #12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3. That #12 Lexus RC-F GT3 is one car to have moved up the order as a result of the rain to have hit the area.
UPDATE 1: The race organisers are planning to provide everyone with an update at 14:00 local time (30 minutes before the end time) on whether or not we’ll go racing again.
More to follow…