COURTESY OF IMSA

Fernando Alonso leads rain-drenched Rolex 24 with eight hours remaining

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso is leading the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, which was under a full-course caution because of rain with 8 hours remaining.

The car owner of Alonso’s Wayne Taylor Racing No. 10 Cadillac DPI was lobbying IMSA officials to stop the race with a red flag instead of having cars circle under yellow, which had been out for more than an hour because of persistent rain and standing water in many sectors of the course.

“The entire team doesn’t have any clue why we’re going around in circles and neither do the drivers,” Wayne Taylor told Parker Kligerman. “Anyone can look at the radar and see this is getting worse. Someone sitting in an office looking at the track needs to take the advice of drivers on the track.”

Taylor said officials either should close the track’s pit entry to throw the red flag.

“It’s just silly,” he said. “I’m not even mad. It’s just, ‘What are they doing?'”

Dane Cameron’s No. 6 Acura Team Penske DPI was in second place overall, followed by his teammate Ricky Taylor’s No. 7.

In the GTD class, NBCSN analyst AJ Allmendinger was leading in the No. 86 Acura for Michael Shank Racing. In an interview with the NBCSN booth over his team radio, Allmendinger said he wanted to keep racing.

“Driving around at this speed (under caution), it’s pretty sketchy already,” Allmendinger said. “It’s definitely hard to go back to green right now. But if you want to go racing, stopping the race, there’s no way that’s going to help. We stop this race, the track is gone.

“It’s a difficult position to be in now. It sucks. We like to be racing and putting on a great show for everybody, but hey, anything can happen. Hopefully we get this thing back green.”

At 7:22 a.m., IMSA put out the red flag to stop the race.

IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

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Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

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