The 10th hour of the Rolex 24 At Daytona featured a surprise penalty for the GTD class-leading Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 that took it from holding a one-lap lead to being one lap down, a rare caution period, and a retirement.
The Land Audi was directed to pit lane by IMSA to serve a stop-plus five-minute penalty for, according to team owner Christian Land, exceeding the minimum refueling time expected for the German coupe. With the series applying Balance of Performance restrictions to more than just the cars – refueling rigs are also subject to BoP with the use of differing flow restrictors to equalize the time it takes to fill each model – Land told Radio Le Mans the reduced time his No.29 has been spending on pit lane was reported as the reason for the violation.
“It means our refueling time is shorter than [IMSA] calculated,” he said. “We are every time a bit quicker, but we follow the regulations. We are fine. IMSA has a calculated refueling time for our class, it’s around 40 seconds, but we did nothing out of the regulations, but we are quicker than the calculated time so we are penalized five minutes.”
Land driver Jeffrey Schmidt served the penalty and returned soon after to hand the car over to Christopher Mies, who returned in seventh place in GTD.
Addled with a worsening misfire, the No.90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac DPi-V.R was officially retired with terminal engine issues.
At 12:31 a.m. ET, Ryan Dalziel drove the No. 2 Nissan DPi into the garage, promoting Felipe Nasr to fourth.
Roberto Gonzalez triggered the only the second yellow of the event at 12:32 a.m. when he went into the tire barriers on his out lap – on cold tires.
Ricky Taylor emerged with the overall lead and an Acura Team Penske 1-2 with teammate Simon Pagenaud when the race returned to green. Ford’s utter domination of GT Le Mans continued with Joey Hand leading Ryan Briscoe, and Katherine Legge topped GTD in her Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.
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