As the Rolex 24 at Daytona enters its final phase, Corvette Racing has begun to stake its claim as a key contender to repeat its victory from 2015.
With six hours to go Antonio Garica moved past the No.912 Porsche of Fred Makowiecki with a slipstreaming move entering the bus stop.
He was joined soon after at the front by teammate Tommy Milner as the Porsche pack began to fight back. The Corvette Racing crew began to work together to slipstream their way “NASCAR-style” around the oval portions of the Daytona road course and soon opened a five second gap.
Milner took over the front-runner spot as Garcia swapped out for DTM ace Mike Rockenfeller. With five hours to go Corvette Racing remained 1-2 with the BMW of Dirk Werner in third spot.
The leading Porsche contender – the No.911 Porsche – struck problems at the same time. The team had to take the Kevin Estre machine back to the paddock to work on a suspected driveshaft issue.
The No.912 Porsche remains fourth place ahead of Alessandro Pier Guidi in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari – the last of five cars on the lead lap.
In the prototype ranks, Patron Racing ESM held a handy lead after a stunning drive by their young Brazilian Pippo Derani. The young star hunted down Christian Fittipaldi’s Daytona Prototype to take the lead – the sole remaining Le Mans LM P2-style entry.
Other class leaders include the GTD No.22 WeatherTech Porsche which now has Kiwi V8 Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen at the wheel and Chris Miller in the JDC MotorSports PC car – leading a battle of the walking wounded.
Most of the PC cars have struck issues throughout the race and are running laps down on the slower GTD cars.