At half distance this race continues to twist and turn in its ability to give favours and take them away from competitors. As early as the seventh hour the #77 Mazda appeared to have exhausted its supply of luck having taken the race to that point by storm. With the vastly experienced Timo Bernhard at the wheel and at full pace on the back straight a turbo cried enough and spooled itself into oblivion leaving the car with flaming exhausts and trundling to a halt at the Bus-Stop. Game-over for an exquisitly prepared challenge, glorious looking and sounding car. At about the same time its sister car #55 was delayed but continues at this time a little off the lead pace.
To the fore at 12-hours are the Cadillacs with both the #10 & #31 of Wayne Taylor Racing and Whelan Engineering continuing to lead the challenge. Penske have been playing the thoughtful long game with the Acuras the #6 leading the #7 taking a very softly softly approach. With the second half of the race it is once again apparent that only competitors with a perfect run will be there at the front come the final hour. Current positions are the #10 from #6 from #31 and in 4th the #7 pursued by the #55, the last two cars being just off the lead lap.
In LMP2 it is the Dragonspeed Orecas that have taken up a dominant position the #18 leading from its sister car #81. The third place is occupied by the remaining competitive entrant #38 of Performance Tech some 7-laps off the Dragonspeed pace.
GTLM is an absolutely twisting-fest with positions change as minor challenges cause upset for each of the contenders, currently very much a story of the fast tortoises beating out the faster hares! The #3 Corvette led right on half-distance, having recovered from its pit-lane collision with the #4 vette. However, with a current fuel pick-up issue, either pressure or lack of liquid to pick-up(!) leading to the a stop on track and a tow into the pit garage it has fallen a number of laps behind. The #25 BMW M8 assumed the lead, the previous reported battle between Porsche, Ford and Ferrari having blown out and dropped those contenders back from lead contention. However, as the #25 takes a stop, the very early delayed #912 Porsche taking over the lead fractions ahead of the once again Tandy-powered #911.
We are still four hours from day break in Florida, and that is still forecast to bring wet weather, typically those are the witching hours when the gremlins stir and change becomes inevitable for many…
GTD is surprising lead by the Lamborghini Huracans #48 & #11 which are proving surprisingly resilient to early woes. These are joined on the category lead lap by a remaining Ferrari #63, Acura #86, Lexus #14, Mercedes #33 and a gathering mass of three Audi R8s the #88, #29 and #8. Given the forecast inclement weather, we would see that Audi triumbarate as omnious as any gathering clouds!
So on it rumbles. The IMSA.tv continues to stream as do the sage words of the IMSA Radio crew from RadioLeMans.com. How about doing something different this drab Sunday morning in the UK and follow along. We are available on the Facebook Endurance Racing Fans group and via @SportsCarGlobal Enjoy how this one is unravelling!