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Over 20 hours are in the books for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. But, while there are less than four hours remaining, there is still plenty of racing left to run, and with more frontrunners encountering problems, the race is far from over.
The class leaders at the Hour 20 mark are below.
No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi, Joao Barbosa
No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi, Felipe Nasr
No. 54 CORE Autosport Oreca 07 Gibson, Romain Dumas
No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, Ford GT, Sebastien Bourdais
No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, Scott Dixon
No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, Antonio Garcia
No. 11 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Franck Perera
No. 86 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian, Acura NSX GT3, AJ Allmendinger
No. 48 Paul Miller Racing, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Andrea Caldarelli
Action Express Continues to Lead, But Problems Start to Surface
The two Action Express Racing cars still run 1-2 overall, but both have experienced cooling issues as the race heads to its closing stages.
The race-leading No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi took advantage of a full-course caution to make a quick dive into the garage area to check engine temperatures and add water. While the trip took many by surprise, it appeared to only be a minor check to add water and the car quickly rejoined, maintaining its lead. Joao Barbosa is currently at the helm.
However, the sister No. 31 Cadillac, which at one time was within half-a-second and pushing for the lead, was forced to spend a little extra time in the garage fighting the same issue, and actually lost three laps in the process. Still, the No. 31, now in the hands of Felipe Nasr, runs second.
Behind them, a new challenger has emerged in the No. 54 CORE Autosport Oreca, which moved into third after the No. 32 United Autosports entry encountered problems. Though four laps off the lead, the No. 54 machine, currently with Romain Dumas at the controls, could capitalize if the aforementioned issues for Action Express surface again.
Fords Continue to Dominate GTLM
The two Ford GTs from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing remain dominant in GTLM, but are running nose-to-tail and poised to stage an intra-team battle for the GTLM win. Currently, the No. 66 leads, in the hands of Sebastien Bourdais, with Scott Dixon running second in the No. 67.
However, Corvette Racing is still in contention, the No. 3 C7.R running third and still on the same lap as the Fords. Mike Rockenfeller is currently at the wheel.
Lamborghini, Acura, and Mercedes Doing Battle for GTD Lead
The close GT Daytona battle sees Lamborghini, Acura, and Mercedes emerging as the frontrunning marques, with the top four in class all on the same lap.
The No. 11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 from GRT Grasser Racing Team has moved into the lead with Franck Perera.
However, the Michael Shank No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 from Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian is running a strong second, overcoming a brief off-course excursion after driver Katherine Legge was bumped off track by the No. 38 Performance Tech Racing Oreca as they approached the International Horseshoe.
Legge quickly regrouped and did not lose much time. AJ Allmendinger is now at the helm.
The No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini sits third, with Andrea Caldarelli at the wheel.
The No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports runs fourth, having recently spent time in the top three as well, with Luca Stolz now in control.
Below is a report on other notable happenings.
Wayne Taylor Racing Out After Several Tire Failures
A number of Prototype entries have experienced tire problems in the first 20 hours of running, but Wayne Taylor Racing has probably been hit the hardest. Suffering no fewer than seven punctures, they had their latest one late in Hour 17, forcing Renger Van Der Zande to once again bring the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R back to the garage.
Team owner Wayne Taylor subsequently retired the car, citing the aforementioned tire problems and an inability to determine a solution to prevent them.
United Autosports Hits More Problems
United Autosports’ No. 32 Ligier had been running a strong third, behind the top two Cadillacs from Action Express, but a clutch problem forced an unscheduled pit stop for repairs.
They were able to rejoin relatively quickly, but dropped to fifth, seven laps off the lead. Paul Di Resta is now behind the wheel.
Live timing can be found here.