DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Overnight rains slowed the pace during the 55th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
During 14th hour of competition the overnight rain became so bad that officials called for a caution flag and nearly the entire hour was run under caution before racing began again at roughly 4:15 a.m.
With just 10 minutes left in the 15th hour of competition IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship officials were forced to call for the caution flag again because of the dreadful weather conditions.
The Safety Car remained on track for the next hour and a half as teams paraded around behind it. Finally, half an hour in to the 17th hour of the race, the Safety Car returned pitside and the cars got back to racing.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac shared by Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque was back out front in the DPi class after falling a lap down overnight. Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 was second overall. There are only prototypes on the lead lap.
In GT Le Mans Porsche has taken the battle to Ford, with the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Richard Lietz leading the class and running fifth overall.
Jeroen Bleekemolen has put the Riley Motorsports Team AMG Mercedes squad in front in GT Daytona for co-drivers Adam Christodoulou, Mario Farnbacher and Ben Keating.
The Prototype Challenge class is comfortably lead by Performance Tech Motorsports with drivers Patrico O’Ward, James French, Kyle Masson and Nicholas Boulle.
Much earlier in the night around the ninth hour overall race leader Brendan Hartley made contact with the No. 991 Porsche 911 GT3R in NASCAR Turn 1, sending his No. 22 Tequila Patrón Nissan DPi hard into the outside wall. The contact broke the steering in the Nissan, sending it behind the wall and eliminating Cadillac’s primary opposition.