Rolex 24: No Sunrise Over Daytona

By Chris Jasurek
Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 27, 2013 Last Updated: January 27, 2013
Related articles: Sports » Motorsports
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Can’t Race if You Can’t See the Track

As the clocked ticked off the start of the fifteenth hour, a dense fog rolled in, obscuring not just the sunrise but most of the track. Visibility was cut to a few hundred feet—the distance a race car at full speed travels in one second. When exceptionally thick billows blew through, visibility was cut to a fraction of that.

Race organizers had no choice but to wave the yellow flag for the eleventh time of the race. At 6:52, the flashing yellow caution lights signaled a suspension of competition. Ninety minutes later, cars were still circulating slowly, helping to keep the track dry with the heat of their passage but unable to safely race.

Fans didn’t seem to mind the hiatus—people took the opportunity to build fires, cook breakfast and wake up gently, not worried that they would miss any action.

Finally, after an hour and 45 minutes, the green flag waved again, and racing resumed. Scott Pruett in the #01 trailed leader Ryan Dalziel by four seconds

That lead didn’t last. It only took Pruett eight minutes to retake the lead and reestablish Telmex dominance.

GT: Constant Change

While the #01 Temex car dominated the DP portion of the event, GT offered a much more varied contest. Porsche owned the top three for a while, then no Porsches appeared in the top ten. Ferrari had the lead for a while; Audi had its turn on top.

Last year’s GT winner,  #44 Magnus Porsche, was always in or near the top contenders; minutes shy of  fifteen hours gone, Andy Lally retook the GT lead, passing Nick Longhi in the 2012 GT season champion, the #69 AIM Ferrari; a couple of seconds back, Matt Plumb in the #13 Rum Bum Audi was poised to strike

Plumb found his opening and got by Longhi by the fifteenth-hour mark, but none of these drivers were secure in their positions—1.8 seconds separated the three. After racing resumed, the order changed yet again: Markus Winklehock in the Rum Bum Audi passed Olivier Beretta in the Scuderia Ferrari, who led Patrick Pilet in the NGT Momo Porsche

There. is still plenty of racing to come; more than six hours until the checkered flag waves at 3:30 p.m.

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