The #22 ESM Nissan, currently driven by Johannes van Overbeek, leads by four seconds over Eric Curran in the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac, but unnecessary contact has hurt several of the leading runners.
Tristan Vautier received a drive-through penalty for bouncing his Spirit of Daytona Cadillac into Juan Pablo Montoya at the final turn, a collision that spelt the end of the Penske-Acura challenge, the #7 having already retired at half-distance.
There was then a collision between the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac of Renger van der Zande and the similar AXR machine of Curran, who appeared to squeeze the WTR car as he was relinquishing the place. That tore off part of the right-rear fender of the WTR car, causing another yellow for debris.
Then a collision between the #5 AXR Caddy of Joao Barbosa and the Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca of James French has cost them both several laps.
The #55 Mazda had not stopped with the rest of the field under the previous yellow and saw his lead eradicated by this new one, but then Tincknell pulled a 15sec margin on the field again by the time he hit pitlane. However, for the second successive stop, he had problems pulling away, meaning he rejoined in fifth.
All these incidents meant Phil Hanson was able to move the United Autosports Ligier up into a potential podium position, albeit with the recovering Vautier rapidly reeling him in, and Tincknell hauling up onto the tail of both.
A fantastic battle for GT Le Mans honors developed between the two Porsches, the #25 BMW M8 and the Risi Competizione Ferrari, but a brake rotor change under yellow for the Bimmer knocked it out of contention when it lost a lap being held at the end of pitlane as the field passed by.
That has left Frederic Makowiecki and Laurens Vanthoor running 1-2 in the Porsche 911 RSRs ahead of Alessandro Per Guidi’s Risi Ferrari 488, Richard Westbrook in the #67 Ford GT and Marcel Fassler in the #4 Corvette C7.R.
In GT Daytona, Jeroen Bleekemolen is doing his usual exemplary job out front in the #33 Riley Mercedes AMG GT after fine stints from co-drivers Ben Keating and Luca Stolz.
Mario Farnbacher and Katherine Legge are second and third in the Acura NSXs of Michael Shank Racing with Corey Lewis fourth in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan and Tom Dyer fifth in the HART Acura.