Grand Am Rolex 24: Seven Hours to Go and the Race Is On!

January 30, 2011 Updated: January 30, 2011

Dario Franchitti leads the Grand Am Rolex 24 in the  #02 Telmex Ganassi Riley BMW after a night of fog and yellow flags. (John Harrelson/Getty Images)
Dario Franchitti leads the Grand Am Rolex 24 in the #02 Telmex Ganassi Riley BMW after a night of fog and yellow flags. (John Harrelson/Getty Images)
After a night of fog and caution flags, the Grand Am Rolex 24 is back up to speed, its long line of cars roaring around Daytona International Speedway as the rising sun burns of the last of the haze.

The Daytona Prototypes circulate slowly through the fog, waiting for dawn and a return to racing. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
The Daytona Prototypes circulate slowly through the fog, waiting for dawn and a return to racing. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Little changed during the night, as fog slowed the race for three hours, but at 8 a.m., race stewards decided conditions were safe enough for racing and the green flag waved.

As soon as it did, Scott Pruett surged into the lead in the 01 Telmex-Ganassi Riley BMW. But he was soon supplanted by his teammate and IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti in the sister car, the 02. By the seven-hour mark, Franchitti had opened a seven-second lead over the defending Grand Am champion.

Behind them came the two Action Express Riley Porsches. The  #6 Shank Racing Dallara Ford rounded out the top five in Daytona prototypes.

As it was though most of the night, the other two Shank Racing cars were in the top eight, behind the Krohn Racing Lola Ford. Only the first six cars were on the lead lap, but with seven hours of racing to go, any of these cars could be considered reasonable picks for winner.

In GT, the #40 Demnpsey Mazda, with Tom Long now at the wheel, retained the lead it had seized just before the long yellow.

Chasing the lonely Mazda was a horde of ferocious Porsches, led by Andy Lally’s #67 TRG Porsche, running for several hours without a clutch. The #54 TRG/Black Swan/GMG Porsche driven by Tim Pappas was next in line, leading Bryan Sellers  in the #48 Miller Porsche, followed by the #66 TRG car and the #44 Magnus Racing machine.