Rolex 24 Hour 1: Mazda in control early

Image by Jake Galstad/LAT

Rolex 24 Hour 1: Mazda in control early


Rolex 24 Hour 1: Mazda in control early


Mazda Team Joest leads the Rolex 24 At Daytona after an hour of racing, Oliver Jarvis holding the lead in the No. 77 RT24-P from pole position by a few seconds.

It was a relatively quiet opening hour of the race, with no cautions or contact, and just a few standout performances of note.

Behind the No. 77 Mazda is the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac of Felipe Nasr, who has climbed the order from fourth on the grid to second, getting past both Jonathan Bomarito at the start in the No. 55 Mazda and later Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 6 Acura at the Bus Stop halfway through the hour.

Montoya continues to sit third in the No. 6 Penske Acura, ahead of Bomarito and Ricky Taylor in the sister Acura who started 20th on the grid after his off in qualifying and is now up to fifth.

In LMP2 the story so far has been the stint by Ben Keating to start the race. The Texan, in the No. 52 PR1 ORECA and Riley Motorsports Mercedes for this race, holds a huge 40 second lead over the field and has lapped the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA, which is last in class. At times he was three to four seconds quicker a lap than the other gentlemen drivers who took the start and just a second or two off the DPis ahead.

Behind him Ben, Hanley, in the No. 81 DragonSpeed ORECA, climbed in at the first stops and taken over from Henrik Hedman, tasked with reducing the huge deficit to the PR1 07 Gibson ahead.

The No. 38 Performance Tech ORECA, which was repaired overnight after Don Yount’s shunt in the final practice session, is third with Cameron Cassels driving.

The GT ranks have featured some shuffling since the first round of pit stops. Nick Tandy leads the category in the No. 911 from pole. The No. 912 sister Porsche 911 RSR 19 which slipped to third in the opening stint, but is back up to second after the stops.

The No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia climbed to second, but is now down to fifth behind the No. 25 RLL BMW which is up to third and the No. 62 Risi Ferrari, which started last but is now fourth with James Calado at the wheel.

GTD was relatively static in the opening laps, but at the end of the hour we have a three-way battle for the lead after the gaps between the top three were eliminated in the round of stops.

Zach Robichon in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche leads this one, but Trent Hindman in the No. 57 Acura is within two tenths and is eager to give Heinricher Racing the lead.

Cooper MacNeil is third and within two seconds of the leading pair in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari. The top five is completed by the Petit Le Mans-winning Turner Motorsports BMW and the No. 88 WRT Audi with Rolf Ineichen aboard.

23 hours to go!