Jimmie Johnson led Renger van der Zande at the nine-hour mark of the Rolex 24 At Daytona as the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi took control of the race. Johnson held a 1.3 second lead on van der Zande in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 01 Cadillac DPi.
Running third was Alexander Rossi in the Wayne Taylor Racing No. 10 Acura DPi.
A routine pit stop at the beginning of the hour by van der Zande allowed Kamui Kobayashi to take over the race lead. Kobayashi then put on a driving clinic, pulling away from van der Zande by over 18 seconds
Midway through the hour, Kobayashi yielded the machine to Johnson for his second stint. Also midway through the hour, Conway took over for Felipe Nasr in the Action Express Cadillac.
AJ Allmendinger turned the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura DPi over to Dane Cameron at the beginning of the hour; the car was sixth at the nine-hour mark.
“It was all right,” said Allmendinger after his stint. “I wish we had a little bit more speed right now. We’re struggling just getting the front end to turn. We’re fighting hard – everybody at Meyer Shank Racing. The guys and girls on this race team are working hard to keep improving the car. If we get a long yellow, I think we can make some adjustments that might help it, but it’s not going to be a quick fix. We’re going to keep fighting. We got back on the lead lap, that helped, and it was fun. It’s fun battling with the guys. I wish I was a little bit quicker, but we’ll keep fighting.”
— IMSA After Dark (@IMSA) January 31, 2021
Also at the nine-hour mark, Thomas Merrill maintained the lead in LMP2 over Gabriel Aubry, who took over the No. 8 ORECA. Andrea Belicchi, now in the No. 47 Dallara ran third with Paul-Loup Chatin running fourth in the No. 18 ORECA.
There was little change in the GTLM class: Antonio Garcia continues to lead over Tommy Milner and David Rigon. John Edwards moved to fourth in the No. 24 BMW M8 with Timo Glock falling to fifth in the No. 25 BMW M8.
— Corvette Racing (@CorvetteRacing) January 31, 2021
Stevan McAleer led the LMP3 contingent in the No. 6 Duqueine. Joao Barbosa in the No. 33 Ligier ran second with Oliver Askew third in the No. 74 Ligier.
Matteo Cressoni in the No. 21 Ferrari (photo at top) led the GTD class over Corey Lewis in the No. 1 Lamborghini. Aaron Telitz was third in the No. 14 Lexus.