The Porsche 962 prototype of Al Holbert, Derek Bell and Al Unser Jr. took a three-lap lead after nine hours of the 24 Hours of Daytona race in Daytona Beach, Fla.
While the Porsche pulled steadily away in the late hours last night, the Jaguar XJR-5 prototype that had been running a close second went out in flames.
Bob Tullius was driving the second-place car when a tire went flat and the bodywork of the car smashed to the ground. A piece of the fiberglass body sliced open the oil cooler and the heat from the engine exploded the oil into flames that engulfed the car.
Tullius wriggled free and appeared uninjured, although he was taken to a hospital for observation.
"It's a bit slippery and dirty out there," said Bell, who was at the wheel of the Porsche when the Jaguar went out. "Our lights aren't very good and somebody dropped a lot of oil on the track. After a while, there was so much oil on the windshield I couldn't see the infield turns at all. I went into the grass twice and I was lucky I didn't get into any of the big holes out there."
The Jaguar was co-driven by Brian Redman and Hurley Haywood. Its misfortune left the 962 of A.J. Foyt, Bob Wollek and Al Unser Sr. in second place.