Rolex 24: Updates
Fittipaldi: 'We're Running Our Own Race' (Updated Saturday at 9 p.m.)
Christian Fittipaldi is looking to give Action Express Racing the second consecutive victory for its No. 9 Porsche/Riley. He turned the car over to JC France in second position.
"We have to basically run our own race and hope for the best," said Fittipaldi, winner of the 2004 Rolex 24. "Depending on the time of the stints, the Ganassi cars are a little bit quicker. Towards the end as the tires go off, we are running the same speeds. I guess it's a 24-hour race. We have to wait a little bit. We'll probably decide what to do 20 hours into it. I'm enjoying myself. The team is doing a great job, and I hope to keep up."
Flying Lizard Falls Back after Incidents (Updated Saturday at 8 p.m.)
The pole-winning No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche/Riley had a strong start to the Rolex 24. Jorg Bergmeister led the race early and set the fastest lap of the race during his shift, and then Patrick Long worked back up to second during his hour.
Then, Seth Neiman took over, where he was slowed by a pair of incidents. He was hit from behind on a restart, causing minor damage to right-rear bodywork. Later on, an incident sent the car to the garage.
"I got to the kink and there were three cars spinning in front of me," Neiman explained. "I went to the right through the grass to avoid it - and did that - but I hit a lip coming onto the track and damaged the car."
The Porsche/Riley received front splitter, undertray and radiator damage. Neiman went right to the garage, losing 19 laps during the 35-minute repair. After four hours, the team was 18 laps behind.
"We had the quickest car out there for sure," Bergmeister said following his second turn at the wheel. "In my stint, I had no problems pulling away from the rest of the field. It was very consistent from the beginning to the end of the stint so I could push the entire way. Even after the setbacks that we had, we will keep on pushing - we still have 20 hours to go. "
Patrick Dempsey Press Briefing (Updated Saturday at 7:30 p.m.)
Patrick Dempsey is a little tired from criss-crossing the country to participate in both the Rolex 24 and the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Dempsey talked with the media about his first shift in the No. 40 Visit Florida Mazda RX-8, and about the first screening of his newest movie, Flypaper. Listen here for the full briefing.
Scott Pruett Press Briefing (Updated Saturday at 6:20 p.m.)
Scott Pruett is running in his 21st Rolex 24, yet the three-time overall winner he is encountering new situations this year. Click here to listen to the full interview.
Gurney Talks About Opening Two Hours (Updated Saturday at 6 p.m.)
While "a lot of guys were not racing like it's a 24-hour race," Alex Gurney took a conservative approach running a double shift in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley. Listen here for the full media briefing.
Slow Start For Ganassi Team (Updated Saturday at 4:50 p.m.)
The two Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates cars were running 16th and 17th - one lap down - early in the second hour of the race. Scott Pruett changed the gear stack on a green flag pit stop and lost a lap in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley, while Scott Dixon punctured his right-rear tire and lost a lap in the No. 02 Target/TELMEX BMW/Riley.
"It's not the best start to the race, but the car is still in one piece," Dixon said after turning the car over to Dario Franchitti. "It's better to get this stuff out of the way. There's a long way to go. It that's our biggest problem we'll have a pretty good race."
Pobst First to the Garage (Updated Saturday at 3:50 p.m.)
Randy Pobst was the first Rolex 24 competitor to visit the garage in the Rolex 24, with Randy Pobst pitting the No. 86 Mitchum Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on the first lap. Pobst, a two-time class winner of the event, was hit in the left-rear wheel in the infield and impacted a tire barrier with the right front. The Mitchum Motorsports team spent 10 minutes working on an alignment issue before Pobst returned to the race. Pobst also reports trouble with the shift lever, with the team standing by with replacement parts if it gets worse.