The Rain Stops for Hour 18

After the previous four hours where barely anything happened, the last four-hour of racing have been packed with action. The fight for the lead in all the classes has tightened up completely as the rain has left the circuit, allowing for green racing to get back underway. #10 Wayne Taylor Racing still has the advantage as they lead the overall grid, but the gap between them and #5 Action Express Racing is getting very close. The #38 Performance Tech Motorsports have the Prototype Challenge class in the bag unless something goes wrong with their car in the last four hours. They have dominated the field throughout the 24-hour endurance race and thoroughly deserve to win their class today. It is still a fight between the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and the #62 Risi Competizione for the GT Le Mans win, but the top six in the GT Le Mans class is covered by just over five seconds. The GT Daytona lead keeps being handed between the #33 Riley Motorsport and the #86 Michael Shank Racing.

One hour and forty minutes passed until the last Full Course Yellow. The safety car period was so long that they had to swap the safety car over because the first car was running low on fuel. But once the rain had lightened off enough to get the race back underway everybody appeared to have a point to prove. Before the Full Course Yellow was lifted, VISIT FLORIDA Racing managed to get their car into the lead position. Sadly, the rest of the Prototype grid appear to be around 2 seconds slower than the Cadillacs, so as soon as the track started to dry out the #10 and #5 began to leave the #90 behind.

There were more issues for the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac. After Seb Morris had had such a good first stint the team’s race went downhill as they tried to deal with start-up issues. Within the last four hours, the car has been back in the pits a few times with power issues. It is a shame because Morris proved he had the speed and the talent to contend high up with the #31.

Due to so many people going off/straight on at the Bus Stop chicane, IMSA changed the penalty rule, claiming that whether or not you gained an advantage if a driver cut Bus Stop chicane they would be handed a penalty. The #90 VISIT FLORIDA Racing was the first to suffer this punishment, being handed a drive-through penalty after going straight through the escape road.

The top of the field is very close in GT Le Mans, but at the beginning of the four hours, it was the two Porsches who were holding a strong 1-2. Their pace in the wet/damp conditions was clearly superior to the rest of their class fields as they managed to hold onto the lead of the class throughout most of the evening’s running. The battle is now between Risi Competizione and Ford Chip Ganassi as it was yesterday, but both Porsches are still in contention to take the class win. Only a few second separate them from the leaders and the lead keeps trading hands.

Ending the four-hour block, another Full Course Yellow hit the track. Just racing around the track, the front bodywork of the #26 BAR1 Motorsport flew off the car, landing in two pieces on the track. The Full Course Yellow was brought out to clear the debris off the track. There was a second Full Course Yellow when the #15 3GT Racing car that had crashed quite a few times throughout the race ended up in the tyre barrier.

The cars have now raced over 500 laps, and thus far only six have been lost from the race. With just four hours of racing left, anything could happen. Make sure to stay tuned to @SpeedChillsView to get LIVE updates as the final few hours unfold.