As we enter the final hour of racing, the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. continues to lead the race. After a brilliant recovery drive from Ryan Briscoe, Kamui Kobayashi has built up a solid lead that the team will be hoping a full-course yellow does not dismantle in the final hour.
Kobayashi currently has a roughly 65.836-second lead over the #5 Mustang Sampling JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R. that is currently making a pitstop. That lead has remained that size for the past hour and looks unlikely to change without the influence of a full-course yellow.
The #77 Mazda RT24-P was running second, but it made a pitstop just as the hour ticked over. Expect that car to move back in front of the #5 Cadillac when it makes its pitstop, but also expect the #77 Mazda to remain behind the #10 Cadillac when Kobayashi makes his next pit stop.
The situation in LMP2 has not changed in the last hour. The #81 DragonSpeed ORECA 07 still holds onto the lead of the race. The size of their lead varies between one and two laps as pit stops come and go for themselves and the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07 who are in second.
Eleven laps behind the leading #81 ORECA is the #18 Era Motorsports ORECA 07 in third.
Though the #24 BMW rejoined from its routine stop ahead of the #912 Porsche, Earl Bamber had a tyre temperature window to get past Jesse Krohn, the pass completed into the International Horseshoe. The Fin fought back but there was a slight advantage to the Porsche heading onto the banking.
John Edwards: “We were strong in the night on softs, but the Porsche has been better on the longer runs this morning. We started to lose the grip on entry, so I asked to go to mediums to try to get the lead back, but it’s very sketchy. Jesse lost the lead and he’s trying to get it back. The Porsche is very good at getting the power down out of the corners but we are on the harder compounds so we expect to be stronger towards the end of the stint. They are strong through turns 3 and 5 and we have strength on the straights and in the Bus Stop, so it’s going to get more stressful as we approach the end. We have the car to win here, it’s just a case of executing it properly.”
Bamber pitted the #912 car first, but the BMW was baulked by the Era Motorsport LMP2 car as it made its entry to its pit box, losing the black #24 car valuable time. As Krohn’s BMW rejoined, Nick Tandy pounced past into the first of the Horseshoes to steal second place.
The #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari picked up a drive-through having spun its wheels on its jacks, this effectively ending any chance for the team as it would drop the car off the lead lap. This situation was compounded as the Ferrari blew a left rear tyre on entry to the Bus Stop, the car in for a lengthy pit call to examine bodywork damage. After a spirited effort, described as “flat out all the way” by James Calado, the car was retired.
The Lamborghini 1-2 had a firm grip on the race in GTD. Marco Mapelli led in the #44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini from the #48 Paul Miller Racing car of Andrea Caldarelli, the pair nose-to-tail with nearly 20 seconds of clear air now between their Huracans and the #88 Audi R8, which had the #16 Wright Racing Porsche bearing down on lower fuel.
Mapelli stayed aboard the GRT car as it took its penultimate stop ahead of the #48’s. Calderelli stayed aboard the Paul Miller car when its time came but crucially emerged 12 seconds in the lead.
The #88 Audi retained its third position, Mirko Bortolotti still aboard.