[Endurance Race Live Blog]
Good Morning! Brrrrrrr…we aren’t sure what the temperature is this morning, but it is not immediately obvious that we are in Florida right now. Despite the chill, we are all ready to go for the 90 minute Enduro race with both Rob Blake and Juan Lopez-Santini sharing the driving duties.
Two pit stops are required, and each much last a minimum of five minutes. Rob will be starting the race.
UPDATE 8:02 / The Field is rolling now for the pace lap and no doubt everyone is working the brakes and tires hard to get some heat going due to these chilly temperatures. Its a split start with the Prototypes half lap ahead and will take the green flag first.
UPDATE 8:05 / Green Flag for IGT cars…Rob gets a good start and maintains P1 thru T1 followed by Steve Hill in the F458C, then its Barry Fromberg in another F458C as they come go into T3. Good clean start for the entire field.
( video credit: International GT / Mission Foods )
UPDATE 8:06 / Everyone maintains position into T7.
UPDATE 8:06 / Top 3 are real close. Rob still P1 thru T10.
UPDATE 8:07 / Steve Hill makes an aggressive move into T13 and the F458C is now P1. Rob is P2 as they head toward Bishops Bend.
UPDATE 8:08 / Steve Hill still in P1 as Rob keeps less than a second between them as they pass the line. Lap 1 is in the books.
UPDATE 8:12 / Things are unchanged as the F458C of Hill and Rob’s GT3-R basically check out from the rest of the field.
UPDATE 8:15 / Steve Hill P1, Rob P2….still less than a second behind.
UPDATE 8:17 / Hill and Rob are catching traffic now.
UPDATE 8:22 / Traffic is still in play as Hill gets some good breaks and increases the gap as Rob manages the back markers.
UPDATE 8:24 / Rob has closed the gap to almost nothing as they come thru T17. Rob gets a great launch out of T17 and they are running nose to tail down the front straight. Hill P1, Rob inches behind.
UPDATE 8:25 / Rob tries and inside pass into T1 on Hill that doesn’t stick. Both are about to hit traffic again.
UPDATE 8:26 / Rob is all over Hill as they come out of T5 down to the hairpin.
UPDATE 8:26 / Full Course Yellow.
UPDATE 8:27 / Looks like Rob will pit to complete one of the 2 required 5 min. stops.
UPDATE 8:29 / P1 Hill comes into the pits, immediately followed by Rob.
UPDATE 8:31 / No fuel going in the #74 Porsche GT3-R, but it looks like Juan is getting in to drive now. The Zotz Racing crew has 3 GT3 Cup cars in the race today – pits are very busy and nearly everyone is taking advantage of the full course yellow.
UPDATE 8:34 / The Norwood Auto Italia Team has timed Hill’s pitstop perfectly and Hill is back on track just before the pace car makes its way back around. This is going to be hard to overcome as it puts Hill’s F458C a lap ahead.
UPDATE 8:35 / Juan is back on track, still a full course yellow as an incident cleanup isn’t quite finished.
UPDATE 8:46 / We are back to green flag conditions and Juan is working his way around lap traffic.
UPDATE 8:53 / Juan and several other cars just went 4 wide past Start Finish…Juan is working on getting around the #25 991 GT3 Cup driven by Mark Sandridge. P2 at the moment.
UPDATE 8:56 / Juan just made it around Sandridge coming out of T17.
UPDATE 9:00 / We’ve got another yellow…full course yellow.
UPDATE 9:03 / Juan is entering the pits now. Not sure on a driver change as of yet but a refuel is expected.
UPDATE 9:08 / Pit stop complete. Juan remained in the car and we are going green shortly. Timing and scoring shows Hill’s F458C back a couple laps at this point; we are not sure what happened.
UPDATE 9:16 / Juan is solidly in P1 and just turned a 2:04 lap. Timing and Scoring shows nearly a one lap lead over P2: the #25 991 GT3 Cup driven by Mark Sandridge / Joe Varde.
UPDATE 9:20 / Juan has definitely settled in and in the zone; turning really quick times; 2:04, 2:05s…but he is about to come up on some dense lap traffic. P1 still by 01m:58s.
UPDATE 9:33 / We have a checkered flag and the #74 Porsche GT3-R takes P1 by a 01m:41s gap to the P2 #25 991 GT3 Cup of Sandridge/Varde. We have information that Hill’s F458C had a mechanical issue that forced them out of the race early. The great pit stop they had would have been almost impossible to overcome. P3 goes to the #36 F458C driven by John Patrick Mullaney/Chris Hall.