Rolex 24, Hour 20: GT battles raging

A yellow for debris brought the Rolex 24 field closer together and brought the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsports back into the fight, along with the No. 40 WTRAndretti Acura ARX-06. At the front, Felipe Nasr in the No. 7 PPM 963 pulled a bit of a lead over Jack Aitken in the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing V-Series.R.

However, all eyes were on the GT battles, particularly GTD. Triarsi Racing is on a different sequence than the other GTD contenders, which gave the team track position after the last yellow when the other GTD leaders pitted. The next few hours will show if the team choosing not to top off during the caution was the right call. Onofrio Triarsi held off Indy Dontje for half an hour after the last restart, the Ferrari looking absolutely planted to the asphalt and Triarsi able to put it where he wanted to keep Dontje behind him, despite tires six laps older than those on the AMG. Dontje finally took the lead with 12 minutes left in the hour.

GTD PRO was a fierce battle between James Calado in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 and Verhagen in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3. Calado found some comfort by putting the GTD battle between his Ferrari and Verhagen’s BMW.


“With four hours left, to beat the 62 car, we’re going to need some help,” lamented Verhagen’s teammate Bryan Sellers, noting the pace of the Risi Ferrari.

Just after the hour ticked over, Verhagen made contact with Triarsi, spinning the Ferrari but apparently leaving it without damage.The incident is under review.

Christian Rasmussen had the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA in pursuit of Colin Braun’s No. 04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR for the lead in LMP2. Braun pitted just before the race entered four hours to go, leaving Rasmussen at the front. Five cars are solidly in the fight for the LMP2 victory.

Kevin Estre had a scary moment as he tried to push the No. 6 ahead of Aitken’s No. 31 Cadillac heading into the Kink when, going to the right of a GT Lamborghini, he was pushed off track. Estre recovered to continue his pursuit of Aitken.

Pfaff Motorsports, whose problems began early in the race with a bad wheel bearing on the No. 9 McLaren 720S, has retired from the race. Sean Creech Motorsports has indicated that the No. 33 Ligier LMP2 car was going to be retired as well, but it was not yet official.

Class leaders after hour 20:

GTP: Felipe Nasr, No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963

LMP2: Christian Rasmussen, No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA 07

GTD PRO: James Calado, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3

GTD: Indy Dontje, No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3


Story originally appeared on Racer