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Rolex 24 update: Kobayashi leads, Busch set to run final stint as less than two hours remain

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Less than two hours remain in the 2020 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and Wanye Taylor Racing has overcome a setback to be in position to win for the third time in four years.

Kamui Kobayashi currently leads the race in the team’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi, and is expected to remain in the car through the checkered flag after replacing Ryan Briscoe just after the 21-hour mark.

Just a few hours prior, the team suffered a major setback when Briscoe was assessed a penalty for running a light in the pits. After falling a lap down, Briscoe regained the lead lap under the fifth full-course caution of the race.

Tristan Nunez currently runs in the second position in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest DPi.

Meanwhile, Kyle Busch is expected to run the final shift in No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 for AIM Vasser Sullivan.

Busch was back in the car for a triple stint at shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday after pulling a double stint around midnight.

He drove only 42 minutes in his debut Saturday night but helped put the team back on the lead lap and had him begging for time behind the wheel.

The No. 14 team is currently ranked ninth in the 18-car GTD field.

As of 12:00 pm ET, the leaders are:

DPi:

  1. No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing, Cadillac DPi, Kamui Kobayashi
  2. No. 77 Mazda Team Joest, Mazda DPi, Tristan Nunez
  3. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing, Cadillac DPi, Loic Duval

LMP2:

  1. No. 81 Dragonspeed USA, ORECA LMP2 07, Harrison Newey
  2. No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, ORECA LMP2 07, Gabriel Abury
  3. No. 18 Era Motorsport, ORECA LMP2 07, Kyle Tilley

GTLM:

  1. No. 912 Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR-19, Earl Bamber
  2. No. 24 BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan, BMW M8 GTE, Jesse Krohn
  3. No. 911 Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR-19, Nick Tandy

GTD:

  1. No. 44 GRT Magnus, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Marco Mapelli
  2. No. 48 Paul Miller Racing, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Andrea Caldarelli
  3. No. 88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport, Audi RB LMS GT3, Mirko Bortolotti

Live coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona continues on NBC until 2 pm ET. Fans can also watch all remaining coverage on NBC Sports Gold’s Trackpass.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”