IMSA, Richard Dole

Drive-time penalties change Rolex 24 GTD running order

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A drive-time penalty for the No. 26 Montaplast by Land Motorsport driver Ricky Feller has elevated the No. 12 AIM Vasser-Sullivan team to second in GTD class results for the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The No. 88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport entry was elevated to third.

The No. 29 was penalized for rule SSR 12.13.2, minimum and base drive-time that states “two drivers rated silver and/or bronze must individually achieve the minimum drive-time and each other driver (regardless of Driver rating) must individually drive the car for a base drive-time as listed in the SR or Car penalized in the drive-time penalty order priority.”

The No. 29 was originally credited with a second-place finish in class and 18th overall.

The minimum drive-time for the GTD class this year was 4 hours, 45 minutes. The base drive-time was 3 hours, 30 minutes. Both times were adjusted by a percentage commensurate to the time lost when the race was stopped for red flags.

NBC analyst Townsend Bell, Aaron Telitz, Jeff Segal and Frank Montecalvo drove the new second-place car.

The No. 88 was driven by Frederic Vervisch, Kelvin van der Linde, Ian James and Roman DeAngelis.

This marks the second consecutive year the No. 29 was penalized during the Rolex 24. Last year they were held for a five minutes in the 10th hour of the race for a fueling infraction.

The No. 63 and driver Toni Villander were also penalized for a drive-time infraction after finishing 14th in class (34th overall).

The No. 29 car has been moved to 22nd (46th overall) in the GTD race results with the No. 63 scored 23rd in GTD (47th overall).

Kyle Busch happy with first stint: ‘Put me in the car, there’s excitement!’

AP Photo/Terry Renna
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Rolex 24 at Daytona debut of the “KB Show” was cut short by a strategy maneuver but still delivered drama and a positive result.

Kyle Busch got the No. 14 RCF GT3 Lexus back on the lead lap and back in contention for a GTD victory at Daytona International Speedway.

“It was good,” Kyle Busch said with a broad smile after a 42-minute stint. “Just, uh, shit, put me in the car, and there’s excitement around! Drove all my way back to the lead lap and everything.

“Overall, we’ve had a good experience and hell I only got one stint in, so I’m ready for more. Sign me up, coach!”

The two-time Cup champion was expected to drive for at least 90 minutes, but the first full-course caution of the race (with 19 hours and 16 minutes remaining) caused AIM Vasser Sullivan to change up its drive plan. Busch was called to the pits in favor of Parker Chase.

“With all the strategy and the way the wave-bys work here, it’s quite different than what we’re accustomed to (in NASCAR),” said Busch, who likely will drive longer now later in the race. “That wasn’t bad. To get ourselves back on the lead lap and back to a position where we can start scrapping again hopefully is what we needed.

“So I got one stint in, but I’m trying to save myself and (teammate) Jack (Hawksworth) for a little later.”

Busch climbed into the car shortly after 6 p.m. as the last of the No. 14’s four drivers. He complained a few times on his radio about traffic, which he said was his biggest challenge.

“There were a couple of instances we ran down a smaller car, and (it was) just mirror driving in front of us,” he said. “That was pretty bad. We lost probably 2 seconds on that. Overall, I guess that’s road racing.

The yellow flag was exactly what Busch’s team needed after being forced to start from the rear of the field when it missed qualifying because of an engine change. Hawksworth, who started the race, said the car was “quick in the wrong places and slow in the right places” after struggling with handling and speed in the first stint.

“I don’t feel we’re out of it,” Hawksworth said. “It’s a very long race. Still early days. We need to work on having speed for the end of the race. The position right now doesn’t really make any difference. We’ll need to find some performance at the end of the race to fight for the win.”