In the final 10 minutes of the first hour, a Ligier-Honda P2 car continued to lead the race, with Pipo Derani (ESM) in front. But then there was a dramatic change…
Ozz Negri (MSR) was passed by Katherine Legge in the Panoz DeltaWing, and she started slashing into Derani’s lead, even before Derani pitted for fuel and tires, handing P1 to Legge.
Behind them, fighting for best of Daytona Prototypes, were Dane Cameron in the Action Express No. 31, and IndyCar champ Scott Dixon in the Riley-Ford Ecoboost of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Early in the going, the No. 67 Ford GT was forced back into the garage with driveline issues, costing the team 15 laps to the GTLM class leaders before they returned to the track.
The full-course yellow caused by Tom Long’s Mazda (transmission failure), caused some pit drama in GTLM and more particularly, RLLR. The wheel of the No. 25 BMW M6 piloted by Marco Werner was struck by its teammate No. 100 car driven by John Edwards, earning the #100 a drive-through penalty.
Once the race got restarted, GTLM was a thriller, with Nick Tandy’s Porsche, Gianmaria Bruni’s SMP Racing Ferrari 488, Joey Hand’s Ford GT and the two Corvettes in close formation until stringing out.
In GTD, Mario Farnbacher’s Alex Job Racing Porsche had stayed out during the first yellow and thus led GTD ahead of the Lamborghinis of Marc Basseng and Townsend Bell. However, the Italian cars took over when the Porsche pitted, and Bell’s O’Gara passed Basseng’s Konrad-run sister car to grab the lead.
The JDC-Miller holds court at the front of the PC field with Stephen Simpson at the helm, 17 seconds clear of his closest competition.