Friday, January 18, 2019

Action Express 1-2 Entering Final Quarter


Action Express Racing’s Cadillac DPi-V.R duo led the Rolex 24 at Daytona overall as the 56th edition of the race, on the verge of breaking lap and distance records, entered its final quarter.

Christian Fittipaldi competed Lap 605 for the No. 5 Cadillac DPi just 5.762 seconds ahead of Mike Conway of the sister No. 31.

The Acura ARX-05s fell out of contention as the sun rose over the Daytona International Speedway. | Photo: Scott R LePage / IMSA

The Action Express pair are the only cars on the lead lap, with six LMP2 cars occupying positions 3–8, led by United Autosports’ No. 32 Ligier JS P217 in third at four laps down.

Team Penske’s Acura ARX-05 cars entered Hour 19 in ninth and 10th behind the series of LMP2s as the next-best DPis behind the leading Cadillacs. The new ORECA 07-based Acura DPis battled for the lead during the night hours before an on-track incident with the No. 31 Cadillac in the morning sent the No. 7 Acura to the garage for lengthy repairs.

A major fire for the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P ended its race after 17 hours, 12 minutes and 30 seconds of running. Ranked 30th on the Hour 18 results sheet, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac also retired from the event after several right-rear tire blowouts.

Ganassi Fords Continue GTLM Domination

Chip Ganassi Racing’s dual Ford GT effort charged into the final quarter of the Rolex 24 running 1-2.

Joey Hand in the No. 66 Ford GT continued to lead the nine-car class, ending Hour 18 with a 1.039-second lead over Richard Westbrook of the sister No. 67. The Nos. 3 and 4 Corvette Racing cars ran third and fourth, 0.652 seconds and 1 lap back from the leading Fords, respectively.

Riley Mercedes-AMG Back Out Front

The GT Daytona category was led after 18 hours of racing by Riley Motorsports’ No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Adam Christodoulou in the Riley car earned himself and co-drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating and Luca Stolz the maximum of five Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup points by leading Paul Miller Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 by seven seconds.

Riley Mercedes GT3 races through Daytona bus stop
Riley Motorsports surfaced at the front in GTD as the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona morning hours began. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

A high-speed trip through the grass and across the racetrack at the international horseshoe corner for Katherine Legge in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 has seen the car drop from the lead at the halfway mark to third after 18 hours.

The top six in GTD remain on the lead lap entering the final chapters of the day-long race.

With 605 laps (2,153.8 miles) completed through 18 hours, the event is on pace to break the overall lap and distance records.

FOX Sports 2 will carry live coverage of the race until 10:30 a.m. EST on Sunday. The broadcast will then transfer to FOX Sports 1 until the end of the event at 3 p.m.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant leads The Apex as its editor-in-chief. When not bringing his racing journalism vision to life at The Apex, Durant enjoys snowboarding, playing the drums, reading and trudging through an endless queue of podcasts.


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