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We’re Halfway Through the 24 Hours of Daytona
We’ve seen brake failures, transmission issues, and fireworks
It’s 4 a.m. or so. We’re just a little past the halfway point of the 2016 24-hour Rolex endurance race at Daytona International Speedway. The drivers have been racing for more than 12 hours, and they still have that much to go before the race ends.
The day started with a vintage parade lap, then all the pomp and marching band glamour of a full grid of race cars surrounded by fans and national flags. For a few laps in the beginning of the race it seemed we might have a full-on Ford vs Chevy vs Ferrari battle, but the Ford GTs fell victim to some electronic gremlins in their gearboxes, and while they did get back out on track, both no. 66 and no. 67 are many laps short of the leaders. They are making a tremendous pace though, so there’s no doubt that when the bobbles are worked out, they’ll be fully competitive. Along with the gearchange trouble, there were two cut tires before the culprit was found in a loose rear diffuser. Corvette hasn’t been without troubles, including a nasty smack from a large piece of debris—possibly a broken brake rotor off a BMW, and an ugly spin just a few laps ago. At this writing, the highest ’Vette is third in class. Watching them battle the Ferraris has been one of the highlights of the race so far. The Vipers were high in the GT Daytona (GTD) class, but they’ve dropped back after some pit stop issues.
The on-track action has been rowdy, but there’s been just as much going on in the pits and the infield. Fans line the fences cheering on their favorites—and occasionally repping HOT ROD in extremely handsome headwear. There’s a small carnival, a large Ferris wheel, and at 10 p.m., fireworks.
We could keep going, but why don’t you scroll through this gallery of glowing brake rotors and racetrack wonder while we take a nap in a corner somewhere.