MotorSportsTalk 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona Sunday blog


12:20 p.m. ET – We’re set up for the final sprint.

In P, the showdown is between the No. 02 Ganassi Riley-Ford, and No. 10 Taylor and No. 5 Action Express Corvette DPs. Ganassi expects Scott Dixon to finish; Jordan Taylor is due to finish in the No. 10 and either Sebastien Bourdais or Joao Barbosa will finish the No. 5.

CORE leads PC with BMW (GTLM) and Riley Viper (GTD) the other class leaders.

Unfortunately for Sage Karam, one of the star drivers of the race, the No. 01 Ganassi car’s win chances have ended due to a reported slipping clutch.

“Right when I left the pits for my third stint of that outing, and right away I just knew,” Karam said. “At first I thought it was just wheelspin on cold tires, but then after that I thought no way this is cold tires anymore. I’ve actually done the same thing in my street car with my clutch, so I knew what it was. I was like, that’s got to be the clutch. So I radioed in and told the guys, and sure enough, that was it. We tried to do different maps to help it out, but ultimately, you couldn’t hang with anybody. We were just too slow, so we had to bring it in and diagnose it.”

10:00 a.m. ET – The Taylor No. 10 has taken the lead on a pit stop sequence, and Andy Lally has hit a possum.

You read that last bit correctly.

See Lally’s tweets below for something that could seemingly only happen to the luckless Magnus Racing.

9:00 a.m. ET – The drama has intensified as the sun has risen in Daytona.

First off the Action Express No. 5 is back on the lead lap and now into the lead after spending less time over the pits in the last couple hours.

Meanwhile in GTLM, the promising Daytona debut for the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR ended in the 18th hour with engine failure. Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Corvette had contact with a  PC car and then the No. 25 BMW had an off course excursion.

The GTD-contending No. 33 Viper has also had a garage trip and lost more than a dozen laps, to fall out of contention. The sister No. 93 in the hands of race debutante Cameron Lawrence now leads.

CORE’s No. 54 and Corvette’s No. 3 are the PC and GTLM leaders as the race nears the 19-hour mark.

The No. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, another GTD class contender, has had a major incident and is now out of the running as well.

6:15 a.m. ET – Good morning from Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, and no, I have not yet been to sleep… but not too much has happened in the overnight hours (perhaps mercifully) since filing the last update on Saturday.

Basically here’s how things are setting up. It’s a likely three and possible four-horse race in the overall and Prototype class honors between the pair of Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Fords and No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing. Defending champions Action Express Racing can reenter the fray if they get back on the lead lap, and the No. 5 Corvette DP has already got back two of the three laps it lost in the ninth hour for a connector issue.

In Prototype Challenge, right now, it’s CORE autosport’s to lose. Thus far the 2014 winners have driven a flawless race and nearly all their rivals have either had issues, been to the garage, or lacked the pace.

GT Le Mans could be any of Corvette, BMW or Porsche. The surprise here though is the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR entry being Porsche’s sole win contender after the factory pair took each other out overnight in an odd and strange accident. Ferrari and Aston Martin, too, have seen their three entries out of the race as well.

And the battle could intensify in GT Daytona, too, with both Vipers, both Scuderia Corsa Ferraris, the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America and No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS all on the lead lap with six hours to go.

Stay tuned for more here.