26 Jan 24h Daytona: The first half of the race
The first twelve hours of this year’s edition of North America’s most popular endurance race became an emotional roller coaster for Dempsey Racing / Konrad Motorsport. An impressive hunt through the field was followed by some technical problems as well as an incident on the track. However, not any thoughts of giving up are wasted by the team Dempsey Racing / Konrad Motorsport.
The 1st half in detail:
1st Hour: Started from position 23 in the grid, Lance Willsey had a solid initial phase of the race. Except one time when he spun, which cost only some seconds, he went though the first two stints without any faults.
2nd Hour: The Porsche cars in the field got along better and better. After Christian Engelhart took over the steering wheel from his American team mate, the 911 with the #28 advanced to the attack. With constant quick laps the German managed to shorten the gap to the top.
3rd Hour: The hunt through the field of the runner-up of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany was interrupted, due to a big crash between a GT-Ferrari and a competitor of the prototype-category. In order to rescue both drivers from their cockpits the race had to be stopped for about one hour. However, all what’s known so far is that according the circumstances both pilots are okay.
4th Hour: While car #27 had to come into the pit with a technical problem, the sister-car gets along better and better. When Engelhart handed over the car to his team mate Klaus Bachler, the green/black Porsche had improved already to ninth position.
5th Hour: Bachler was able to seamlessly continue the hunt through the field of his Bavarian team mate. Temporarily the Austrian improved up to sixth position. “I was really satisfied with my stint”, reports the Porsche-Junior. “Except a short moment of shock, when one of the prototypes hit off one of my mirrors, everything went fine for me.”
6th Hour: The night has come in Daytona – perfect conditions for Rolf Ineichen. The winner of the 2014 24 hours of Dubai took over the wheel from Klaus Bachler and continues the fight for a top position.
7th Hour: The ambitions of the team around Franz Konrad and Patrick Dempsey experienced an unexpected setback. Ineichen had to come into the pit for an unscheduled stop for a repair-job. “I was sandwiched between two of the prototypes in the Bus-Stop corner. They left no space for me and so I had to take the emergency exit through the grass and damaged the front of my car”, the Swiss reported disappointed.
8th Hour: It took about 45 minutes to get the Porsche repaired after Ineichens incident, while meanwhile the sister-car with Marc Lieb behind the wheel is back on the track again.
9th Hour: Meanwhile Lance Willsey and Patrick Dempsey took over the cockpits of the two Porsche. Both cars are running without any problems again.
10th Hour: Both drivers are improving positions again. Lance Willsey managed to overtake the GB Autosport Porsche and improved to 24th rank. Patrick Dempsey currently covers position 27.
11th Hour: Christian Engelhart and Joe Foster are now behind the wheels of the two Porsche 911 GT3 America of the team Dempsey Racing / Konrad Motorsport.
12th Hour: At the halftime of the race the two Porsche 911 of the team are covering positions 21 and 26.