Porsche in early control at Daytona as the sun sets

The sun has set over Daytona International Speedway and after four hours of racing, it's mainly been an all-Porsche affair in both Daytona Prototype and Grand Touring categories. Darren Law in the pole-sitting No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley holds control of the race after the four-hour mark, but Penske Racing's Romain Dumas is close in toe, as the field slows for the fourth full-course caution period of the race.

#16 Penske Racing Porsche Riley: Timo Bernhard, Ryan Briscoe, Romain Dumas.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

The first four hours have seen the Penske and Brumos Porsche Rileys exchange the lead, mainly due to pit strategy. Timo Bernhard, who took the early lead, pitted at the 48-minute mark for a possible misfire, but the Penske machine was given the all clear. Since then, the car was off sequence with the No. 58 Brumos entry until the first caution near the three-hour mark.

Dumas assumed the lead with a clever fuel-only stop but lost the top spot when Law stayed out of the pits during a round of stops while under the third caution period. The Brumos Porsche pulled away on the lap 118 restart, but Dumas charged back up to second.

"It was very hard for sure," said Dumas after his double stint. "I kept in the same direction for a long time to catch back up from the pit stop we made very early. We'd like to stay in the same position because we have fuel now. We have a great car and so far we're taking care of it."

Juan Pablo Montoya in defending race winning No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley runs in third, with the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley of AJ Allmendinger moving up to fourth, just as Terry Borcheller's No. 59 Brumos Porsche Riley slowed, dropping to seventh. Ten cars remain on the lead lap.

One contender having an early setback was the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley of Jimmie Johnson, which lost nine laps in the pits replacing a gear cluster and sensor in the fourth hour.

"I tried leaving the pit stall and the taillights went out," Johnson explained of the incident. "So we came in to fix that and was trying to get the car in the gear to leave the pit. The car was creeping and I broke the gearbox trying to get the thing in first gear and get it going. I feel terrible that I broke the toy for the guys."

In the GT ranks, Kelly Collins in the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R leads the way after staying out during the last round of pit stops. The No. 33 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine of Patrick Pilet is in second, followed by Kevin Roush's No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche, which along with the sister No. 87 machine, has been out front for most of the race so far.

Early trouble hit the pole-sitting No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 of Sylvain Tremblay, which lost 42 laps replacing the fuel pump and fuel cell. The team's sister No. 69 entry also had some early setbacks, colliding with a Porsche and suffering suspension damage. These two incidents by the leading Mazdas have effectively given the race to the flock of Porsches fielded by Farnbacher Loles and TRG.