Brumos Racing continued to pace the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona but, having seen its pole-winning #58 machine at the front for so long, the team had to adjust to watching the sister car lead the pack at the end of hour eight.

The team's Joao Barbosa had turned in the fastest lap of the race so far, at 1min 41.855secs on lap 24, but needed help from the #58 to move into top spot.

Antonio Garcia, running second after taking over from Buddy Rice, hit the turn three tyre barrier and brought out the race's eighth full-course caution. He managed to get the Porsche Riley back to the garage, where the crew replaced its nose, but fell to tenth in the Daytona Prototype standings, and three laps down, as a result. Barbosa duly picked up the lead ahead of Ganassi's #02, with Scott Dixon at the wheel, and the ever-present #16 Penske entry of Timo Bernhard.

The top GT car at the same point was TRG's #66 Porsche GT3 Cup car, which was running in 15th place overall, but moved to the head of the GT standings after a string of problems for other fancied runners.

The #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche broke a driveshaft while Dirk Werner was driving, removing one of the early leaders as the car went back to the garage for repairs, but TRG was not immune to problems, as Marco Holzer lost power steering in the #65 GT3 and the sister #68 entry only re-emerged in the eighth hour after losing 19 laps as the result of its own mishap.

Elsewhere in GT, the #86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche of Dominik Farnbacher picked up a stop-go penalty for jumping the restart on lap 235, but remained on the lead lap.

Pre-race favourite GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing continues to run eleventh in the Daytona Prototype class, and is now only five laps down, having picked up four of the nine laps lost during a fourth-hour gear cluster change.

Kyle Petty, however, was forced to take the #45 BMW Riley behind the wall with a broken left-side driveshaft, adding to its night-time woes. Leaking oil caught fire as the car coasted, but it was towed back to the garage, where Petty and team manager Peter Baron were hands-on with the crew, feverishly working to fix the problem.

Despite their efforts, however, the Victory Junction/Orbit Racing entry eventually retired after a second visit to the garage due to a bad piston. Petty, who was teamed with Leo Hindery, Bill Lester and Britain's Darren Manning had chosen to run Grand-Am to promote his Victory Junction Hole in the Wall Camp, which is breaking ground in Kansas for a second venue.

Kevin Doran was also spotted pacing the garage area, anxiously overseeing frantic work on the #77 Ford Dallara. Crew members are beavering away at both ends although the problem seems to be steering-related.

The retirement list already includes the #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley, which coasted to a stop while leading. It turns out the car had a blown motor, sidelining AJ Allmendinger, Ian James, John Pew and Michael Valiante.

Boris Said's #15 Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang GT lost a cylinder and retired early on, after running a mere 52 laps. His co-drivers were Tom Nastasi and Aussies V8 drivers Paul Morris and Owen Kelly. Kelly is currently running the NASCAR Late Model Series for Dale Earnhardt Jr and living at Junior's house. This is his first time in a sportscar, and a first for racing at night.



Loading Comments...