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Penske heads ever-changing lead pack.


Penske Racing's #16 Porsche Riley returned to the lead of the Rolex 24 at Daytona as the race approached the eleven-hour mark under cover of darkness.

The car, a frontrunner from the start, is one of five still on the lead lap overall as the gruelling event continues to take its toll. The GT class leader, TRG's #66 Porsche GT3 Cup, is now up to tenth overall, but is running alone on the lead lap in its category as veteran Emmanuel Collard controls the class.

While Penske, Brumos and Ganassi continued to enjoy relative reliability, however, it was sad to see the two Michael Shank Racing transporters leaving the track in the early stages of the race. All but one driver, John Pew, got to drive, but both the #6 and #60 Ford Rileys retired with the same engine problem, caused by a faulty trigger sensor.

Having seen AJ Allmendinger grind to a halt while leading in MSR's #6, Ryan Hunter-Reay also suffered the ignominy of bringing out a caution when the #60 suffered the same fate, stopping on the NASCAR apron between turns three and four.

"This race was a lot like last year - we had a strong car, a fast pace and a good line-up but something out of our control knocked us out,” MSR team-mate Colin Braun said of the #60's demise, “Unfortunately this puts Mark [Patterson] and Ozz [Oswaldo Negri] behind the eight-ball as far as their championship goes, so I feel bad about that.

“But this was out of our hands. We were in great shape, just doing the laps and being on the pace. The car was great, but that's racing."

Krohn Racing has also retired one of its two Ford Lola DPs with a broken crank sensor, and the Ford contingent was also hit when AIM Motorsports' suffered engine problems, having already changed a gearbox on its #61 Riley.

Other recent retirements include the #64 Glow Racing Porsche GT3, out with broken driveshaft, and the #22 Allegra Motorsports BMW Riley, which was eliminated when Chapman Ducote hit the turn six wall. The similar #55 BMW Riley has also been behind the wall with a transmission problem, while perhaps the most bizarre retirement of the night came when the roof flew off the #13 Pontiac Riley of Jordan Taylor approaching the eleven-hour mark.

Sometime leader SunTrust Racing – owned and run by Taylor's father Wayne - took its #10 Ford Dallara to the garage with brake and exhaust problems, losing a lap changing the brakes, while the #58 that carried Brumos hopes for so long regained one of three lost laps while running eighth in the hands of polewinner David Donohue.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The Penske Racing Porsche in action at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]

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December 18, 2009 1:56 PM

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