DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—The final push is on. The 2016 WeatherTech Rolex 24 at Daytona is into its final few hours, and the race is tighter than it has been all day—and half of yesterday.
The top three cars in the Prototype class are on the same lap and fighting for the win. The top five cars in GTLM are on the same lap, and similarly engaged. The top three cars in GTD …
These are the hours for which every team has been waiting. These are the stints for which they have saved their best. Any mistake now could throw away 20-plus hours of effort and months of preparation. A mechanical failure, a timing error, an instant of inattention, and the entire year’s effort could end in failure and despair.
The cars are dirty, the crews are sleepy, the drivers are sore. Adrenaline propels these weary warriors to focus through the fatigue or to function properly almost unconsciously.
Ricky Taylor in the #10 WTR Dallara-Corvette leads—this is the team which thought it won last year but made a n error in driver times, and left one driver in the car fifteen minutes longer than the rules allowed.
Mark Goosens in the #90 Visit Florida Coyote-Corvette is right behind Taylor. A few seconds further back Pipo Derani in the #2 ESM Liger-Honda.
GTLM: Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche—but in a few minutes the order will reshuffle.
GTD is up for grabs, with the #540 Black Swan Porsche coming from nowhere to take the class lead, followed by the #98 Aston and thre #44 Magnus Rcing Audi. The $85 JDC-Miller Oreca has a solid lead in PC.
And by the tome the checkered flag waves two hours from now, absolutely every bit of this could have changed.