The 13th hour of the Rolex 24 At Daytona opened with an intense battle at the front between overall leader Felipe Albuquerque (No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura DPi) and Mike Rockenfeller (No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi).
The duo were separated by a narrow 0.2s while navigating through lapped traffic. The frontrunners made routine pit stops roughly 15 minutes into the hour, which saw Albuquerque hand off to Ricky Taylor. Despite the driver change, Taylor has actually pulled out a gap of over 4.5s on Rockenfeller.
Felipe Nasr, driving the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi, sits 30s behind the leader in third, with the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi of Juan Pablo Montoya some 35s back in fourth.
Reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon received an uncharacteristic penalty in the handoff from IMSA newcomer Kevin Magnussen after the New Zealander broke the pit road speed limit. As a result, the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi was assessed a stop-and-go penalty, and currently sits a lap down in fifth.
Tim Buret (No. 8 ORECA) comfortably leads the the LMP2 class by 38s over the No. 47 Dallara of Roberto Lacorte, who is the only other car currently on pace with the class leader.
The GTLM category is headed by Alexander Sims (No. 4 Corvette Racing C8.R), who leads teammate Nicky Catsburg (No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R) by 4s. Jesse Krohn has kept the No. 24 BMW Team RLL M8 within stalking distance, just 5s behind the Sims.
Indy Dontje (No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3) continues to lead in GTD, holding a 20s advantage over the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 of Daniel Serra.
Scott Andrews (No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320) leads the LMP3 class by three laps.
The only incident of the hour came from Alan Metni, piloting the No. 42 Audi R8 in GTLM, who went behind the wall briefly after colliding with the No. 11 ORECA LMP2 driven by Tristan Nunez entering Turn 5. Nunez now runs in 17th overall (sixth in class), 23 laps down.
And the only Audi goes behind the wall and so to does the No. 11 WIN Autosport Oreca. Metni, who was deemed responsible for the incident, and @tristannunez collided.#IMSA #Rolex24 pic.twitter.com/2r589cp1i6
— Vincent Bruins (@VincentJBruins) January 31, 2021