At about 22 hours remaining, the leading car, #32 in GTD just ventured off track allowing #93 to take over 1st in Class....go Acura NSX GT3! Marcelli is about 30 seconds ahead of 2nd in class Lexus RC F GT3 car.
With just under 21 hours to go, after a lengthy yellow at the end of the 2nd stint, the field bunched up, completed another round of pit stops and most made drivers changes. Unfortunately, car #93, after sitting 1st in class when the track returned to green, Harrison fell back in the field and is now in for a pit stop dropping from about 5th down to 12th in class. In the meantime, car #66 with Miller at the wheel, is up to 6th in class. Most of the GTD field has completed their 3rd pit stop of the race. And yet another full course yellow (#3) comes out....
Almost 20 hours to go, Lots of tight racing down in the GTD and GTD Pro classes. Nice pace from car #93 moving up the field to 9th in class just 5ish seconds behind car #66 at 8th in class. There was a bunch of argy bargy going on earlier taking car #66 down 2 positions in just one corner from 6th in class.
The sun has set, the lights are on, and the temperatures are cooling. About 19 hours remain in the race. The Acura NSX GT3 cars are still running 8th and 9th with about a 7 second gap. Katherine Legge pilot's car #66 ahead of Formal in car #93. Both cars are on the class leader's lap, 144. Just moments ago #66 moved up to 7th in class passing one of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3s now splitting the NSXs. (Quick update in the 5th hour, after another yellow and pit cycle, the two NSXs are back together again in 7th and 8th with only a half a second between them but they swapped position with #93 leading the two.
Coming up on 18 hours to go. The two NSX GT3s are moving up the field overall and sit at 33rd and 34th overall. Of note in the last hour, both of them passed the new Ferrari 296 GT3. Both road versions of these cars are hybrid, but the race profiles are without electric motors. Also of interest, they passed Romain Grosjean (of F1) in a Lambo too. 6 pit stops have occurred so far and 182 laps for the GTD class. GTD is super competitive this year versus GTD Pro. Yes, they are the exact same cars between class; but by now the Pros usually lead the field of GTDs by this point. In the top 15 of GTD/GTD Pro cars only six are Pro cars and positions 2, 3, 6, 7, 9-12 and 15 containing GTD AM/Pro drivers. Wow
7 hours of racing complete. 17 to go! Pit cycles are currently misaligned. However, as it stands, car #93 is 5th in class and 31st overall. Car #66 has done one additional pit stop and sits back at 11th in class and 40th overall. 212 and 211 laps completed, respectively. GTD Pro/Am are still holding their own with car #32, AMG GT3, currently 1st in class and 1st amongst the GTD and GTD Pro cars.
it should also be noted that #93 remains ahead of Risi Competizione's Ferrari 296 GT3. Fastest lapped between the two belongs to the NSX at about 7/10th faster than the 296. Keep in mind BoP (balance of power) is a factor, especially for debut cars. IMSA tends to start conservative less HP/more weight.
Coming up on hour 8. Farnbacher jumped into car #66 in the last hour. #66 was slowly sliding backwards in the field beforehand and after the last round of pit stops, is now settled in10th in class and 40th overall. In the meantime, #93 has been on the move. With Briscoe at the wheel, they have moved up to 5th in class, 34th overall. In the last 10mins was just passed by the Ferrari of Risi but 36 seconds ahead of car #66 and 37 sec behind the class leader. #93 is battling with #62 Ferrari and has regained the lead just a moment ago.
Quick up, car #93 moved up to 4th in class! (9 mins in to the 8 hr)
9 hours elapsed with15 hours to go. Here's the next update. There was a weird FCY (somebody hit a tire bundle and knocked it out on the track). Another pit cycle complete, Acura NSX GT3 car #93 took the lead in GTD and is 27th overall. Car #66 moved up one notch to 9th in class.
Another quick update. After the green flag (5 mins in to the 9 hour), #93 dropped to 4th and #66 jumped to 8th in class.
Yet another recent yellow mixed up the field. Green dropped about 5mins ago. Car #93, driven by Harrison, remains at 4th in class and for a short time was holding 3rd in class against class competitor #44 Aston Martin. Driver changes for both cars in this last pit cycle. Car #66 is creeping back up the list to 8th in class with Monk back at the helm.
Replacement hood is ready to be mounted on the #93. Video showed it flying off on the high-speed banking. Laps dont seem to be affecting #93 but they have dropped down to 7th in class and 35th overall. Car #66 has remains at #8 in class. The #62 Risi Ferrari 296 is no longer a threat. They pulled into the garage for 18 laps fixing their floors causing a bad vibration. Both cars remain on the lead lap which just hit 334 for the GTD class.
We are at the halfway point. Woot. Car #93 is still missing its hood. However, they remain 7th in class and improved to 34th overall. #66 is still in hot pursuit of the #93 NSX car and holds 8th place in class. Interestingly, depending on the pit cycle, #93 shoots to 3rd place in class which may play a role near the end of the race and depending on yellows. 364 laps have been accomplished by the GTD class in 12 hours.
Not much has changed in the last hour. The NSXs are pretty well planted in the 7th and 8th positions in class. #93 is about 21 seconds behind 6th place. #66 is about 1.5 mins behind #93. 390 laps completed in GTD class. The lead cars in GTD are starting to their pit stops. Most have taken 14 stops so far. Its going to be a long night with ~11 hours to go.
Another hour down and 36 laps later (424 total for GTD), positions for both NSX GT3s are unchanged for most of the stint. However, #93 just moved into 6th place in class but is about 1 min 13 second behind 5th. Last driver change brought Formal and Miller in the driver seats of #93 and #66, respectively. Weathertech's AMG GT3 stormed to the front of GTD Pro and Winward's AMG GT3 leads GTD. Hmmm, seems the BoP favors the Mercedes. Heart of racing in both categories are running behind these two leaders in second place in class. I watched their last pitting sequence with amazement. Both cars came in stacked up behind each other. Both fully serviced and left simultaneously. Very impressive.