As the long night roars on in Florida the cars, lights and fireworks sparkle as the racing goes on. Half distance brings the surprise (perhaps) that local team with a huge Daytona reputation Wayne Taylor Racing with the Acura ARX-05 DPI marginally leads the way pursued by the Cadillac fleet. Here is the class by class during the long night at the half-way point.
DPI – Despite this chess match looking to have swung in favour of the white charges of the Cadillac teams, it is the customer #10 Acura ARX-05 of Wayne Taylor Racing that leads the way from the #48 Ally Cadillac Racing car currently in the hands of Mike Rockenfeller that is all over the situation. The gap after twelve hours is under a second! Looking like a two-brand race now as the Mazda Motorsports entry of Jarvis/Tincknell/Bomarito hit trouble with a rear bodywork section working loose and needing attention leading to them falling 3-laps adrift.
LMP2 – To everyone’s surprise its the #47 Cetilar Racing leading at half-distance in the LMP2 category. Surprise not because its Cetilar Racing, but because its not a dominant everywhere Oreca 07! Clearly the Dallara which we have always known to be supremely fast in a straightline at Le Mans is clearly suited to the banking of the tri-oval and is making hay. #8 Tower Motorsport and #11 WIN Autosport Orecas are currently providing the stiffest opposition here.
LMP3 – Continues to surprise and impress in equal measure. Many sage observers had dismissed this category as being the source of much trouble (and hence Full Course Yellows) but also not reliable enough for the distance. Well the #74 Ligier of Riley Motorsports currently holds the lead, pursued by our favourites, the hard charging #8 of Muehlner Motorsport which has fought back from an early incident. These cars are mandated an 8-minute brakes and inspection stop, but someone making the full distance looks distinctly possible right now.
GTLM – The Corvette Racing Cars in flipping Silver and Yellow liveries continue to prove their heritage and inherent competitiveness. Sadly the BMW M8 team has fallen further away, just the #24 BMW clinging to the podium with the Risi Competitione #62 Ferrari showing great pace as it recovers from early incidents and hurangs the factory teams.
GTD – Continues to be a festival of brands with the superb front-engined Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Winward Racing currently leading the way pursued by #21 Ferrari, a further #75 Mercedes and the #23 Aston Martin of Heart of Racing Team which include both a young Gunn and old stager Darren Turner in its stable of drivers.
Tune in for a sunrise in awhile as we continue to enjoy the racing in Florida – http://imsaradio.com/index.php/live-video/