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Rolex 24 Hour 15: #01 Cadillac To The Lead

More LMP2 woes - #111 Huracan retires

More close racing at the front saw Scott Dixon to the lead in the #01 after duelling with Mike Conway Conway deep into the 15th hour with some continuing concerns about the overall health of the #31, on air sound from the car sounding rough but not impacting significantly on the pace of the Whelen car it seems.

He did though drop back in the led group to third, then fourth before the top of the hour after Ricky Taylor moved to the lead in the #10 Acura on rotation, Renger van der Zande cycling back to the lead for the restart.

Dixon made it back to the front after a substantial penalty, Stop + 2 seconds after being pinged for 25 km/h over the pit lane speed limit.

The hour was completed under Full Course Yellow, the eighth of the race, after Kevin Estre had a lurid spin in the Bus Stop, collecting a sponsor board (ironically WeatherTech), and leaving the board and its mounting across the track. The race went back to green as the hour ticked over.

There will likely be trouble in store for the #7 Forty7 Duqueine as Trent Estep seems to drive between two safety workers attending to the incident under FCY

LMP2 saw the Cetilar Dallara lead before an extended trip behind the wall that continues as this report is filed – reason currently unknown but it’s a major delay.

Also in trouble was the #52 PR1/ Mathiesen Oreca, Nico Lapierre, off qt the International Horseshoe with damage, the car again suffering significant delay but back on track by the end of the 15th hour. 

The class is now led by Gabriel Aubry in the 38 Tower Motorsports Oreca with a lap on the chasing #82 DragonSpeed and #18 Era Orecas, the RWR Eurasia Ligier running fourth but a further couple of laps down.

GTLM still has five cars on the lead lap with the Corvettes still 1-2, #3 from #4 with the #25 BMW third and the #62 Risi Ferrari fourth. The BMW though managed to emerge from the pits ahead – the chase is on!

LMP3 sees the #74 Riley Ligier with a 4 lap advantage over the #33 Sean Creech Ligier (that had an off-track moment in Hour 14, and the #6 Muehlner Duqueine.

GTD has seen a further retirement, the #111 GRT Lamborghini out with engine trouble, both GRT cars now out of the race.

There are six cars on the lead lap with an AMG 1-2 at the top of the hour, the #57 Winward car of Philip Ellis ahead of Raffaele Marciello in the #75 SunENergt1 Mercedes.

Matteo Cressoni sits third in the #21 AF Corse Ferrari with Charlie Eastwood fourth in the TF Sport Aston.

Top fives after 15 hours

#01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.
#48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.
#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05c
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05c
#31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.

#25 BMW M8 GTE
#3 Corvette Racing C8.R
#4 Corvette Racing C8.R
#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE
#24 BMW M8 GTE

#8 Tower Motorsports ORECA 07
#18 Era Motorsport ORECA 07
#82 DragonSpeed ORECA 07
#51 RWR/ Eurasia Ligier JS P217
#11 WIN Autosport ORECA 07

The #74 Riley-Robinson Ligier JS P320
The #33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier JS P320
The #6 Muehlner Motorsports Duqueine D08
The #91 Riley-Cox Ligier JS P320
The #54 CORE Autosport Ligier JS P320

#57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3
#75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG GT3
#21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3
#1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo
#16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R

Official Retirements

P45: #111 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo (Engine)
P46: #19 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo (Engine)
P47: #29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA 07 (Gearbox)
P48: #20 High Class Racing ORECA 07 (Gearbox)
P49: #81 DragonSpeed ORECA 07 (Crash/Engine)