DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With four hours remaining in the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona, Wayne Taylor Racing is in position to capture its third overall victory in a row in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.
Wheeling the No. 10 Acura DPi, Filipe Albuquerque held a 6.332-second edge over six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac right at the conclusion of a cycle of green-flag pit stops.
For most of the preceding two-hour block, Simon Pagenaud and the No. 48 Ally Cadillac for Action Express Racing were in the pursuer role of the Taylor entry, running second before pit stops and a driver change – with Mike Rockenfeller taking over for Pagenaud.
The No. 48 was scored third at the end of the 20th hour of racing.
“We’re making them sweat a little bit,” said Pagenaud of the Wayne Taylor Racing team. “I’m having a blast and I always have a blast coming here.”
Overall, 670 laps and nearly 2,400 miles were completed at the end of 20 hours of racing.
The race ran green from the 628th lap after a debris caution with five and a half hours to go bunched the frontrunners back up.
That led to an hour and 12 minutes of uninterrupted competition, with Magnussen taking the Ganassi Cadillac to the point a lap after the restart before having to serve a drive-through penalty for wheel rotation on the previous pit stop.
That miscue handed the lead back to Alexander Rossi and the No. 10.
At the 20-hour benchmark, the No. 18 Era Motorsports Oreca of Ryan Dalziel held a 26.037-second margin over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport Oreca of Timothe Buret.
The LMP3 class continued to be commanded by the No. 74 Riley Motorsport Ligier JS P320 of Scott Andrews, with a two-lap lead over the nearest challenger in class.
Corvette Racing continued its mastery of the GT Le Mans class, with the No. 3 C8.R taking over the class lead from the sister No. 4 C8.R entry.
Nicky Catsburg held a 6.814-second margin over Alexander Sims with four hours remaining.
And in GT Daytona, the picture of the lead battle changed dramatically with four hours, 16 minutes to go after the leading No. 57 Winward Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Philip Ellis clipped the grass entering turn one.
That created contact with the challenging No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo of Matteo Cressoni that spun the Ferrari out of a battle for the top spot and into the turn-one tire barriers.
After that, Ellis’ main challenger became the No. 75 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Luca Stolz, who ran second for SunEnergy1 Racing by 2.164 seconds at the end of the 20th hour.