Rolex 24: 9 hour report
|Action Express Porsche|
UPDATE The Montoya driven number 2 Ganassi entry, which was the lead runner is now out of the race with an undisclosed engine problem. It seems we may have been right about the Action Express car having the stronger and sturdier powerplant. Borcheller does not quite seem to have the pace for Valiante, but if he can stay close, we will see the shift take place when Patterson gets back behind the wheel of the 6 car. This should be some interesting racing through the night...
01/31/10 We are at the 8 hour mark now, and as the field cycles around, we see that there are now a few clear front runners.
The number 2 Ganassi car with Montoya seems to have the top pace, but is being closely shadowed by Joao Barbosa who is putting in a stellar drive and could have a look inside Montoya at any time. It looks like he is just holding position behind Montoya and biding his time. We called it early in the race, and taking a look at the field, we would put our money on this team right now.
Well, though there is a long way to go, we have learned a little more about this quietly formed team. When Brumos went to one car, most of the crew that they shed got picked up by Bob Johnson, a long time friend of the Brumos family and team. They are running a Porsche too, but opted for the Cayenne V8 instead of the 6 cylinder powerplant that Brumos runs, and has had some issues in the past.
This V8 seems to be getting better mileage than the other engines right now, and the car seems really well setup and keeps the tires underneath it.
So, getting back to our pick...since both of these teams have no real weak point, we still look at what the relative weakness might be when you compare the two. We think the engine in the Action Express car has the upper hand over the long run.
When it comes to the drivers, it looks like Rockenfeller is the slowest of the bunch at Action Express (which is like saying that one Victoria's Secret model is hotter than another...) and Rojas is the slower of the Ganassi bunch. Looking at lap differentials between the drivers and teams, we think Rojas is a weaker link in Ganassi's lineup than Rockenfeller is at Action Express. So, that could be the difference that puts a shiny new Rolex on their wrists tomorrow afternoon.
Joao Barbosa has gone several laps longer than Montoya did, assuming the lead as we typed this, and getting some fast flying clear laps laid down.
In fact, even with the driver change to Borcheller, they emerged ahead of the others in that pit cycle. Look for them to take the lead soon when the pitstops shake out.
The GT race keeps shuffling around, but we have the Stevenson Camaro in 10th overall, with an impressive pace under the lights, with Andrew Davis at the wheel, and Bobby Labonte in second, but two laps behind.
|Stevenson Chevrolet Camaro|
The top 10 in GT: