Rolex 24 Hour 15: Ganassi leads through the pre-dawn

Dole/Motorsport Images

Rolex 24 Hour 15: Ganassi leads through the pre-dawn


Rolex 24 Hour 15: Ganassi leads through the pre-dawn


Renger van der Zande ends the 15th hour of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at the front of the field in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi.

The race is currently under its eighth full course yellow for debris in the bus stop chicane on the backstretch after Kevin Estre backed his No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR into signage, pushing it onto the track.

After lurking in second at the end of the 14th hour, Scott Dixon pushed the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac by Mike Conway (No. 31 Whelen Engineering DPi) and into the lead on lap 479. Dixon drove off to an 8s advantage before coming to pit road to end a quadruple stint, handing off to Renger van der Zande, who rejoined the fight in third, but elevated to the lead after pit stops during the yellow flag.

“It was Kevin (Magnussen) who had the speeding penalty coming in,” said Dixon, discussing the incident that put him a lap down in the 13th hour. “He almost hit a LMP3 car. I don’t know what happened. Then, we had some confusion in the pit stop, too. It was mayhem. The team did a good job to get us the right strategy. That caution definitely helped, and then we were able to get the speed to move back to the front. The car is not great. It’s not as good as what it was early on. We didn’t seem to have the pace. We don’t know if it’s the conditions, or if we need to maybe chase the car a little bit with some aero, but it’s been pretty good. It’s been a lot of fun, man. I love driving these cars. It’s a great way to kick off the season, but we’ll see what the daylight brings tomorrow.”

AJ Allmendinger has the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi in second, with Conway in third. Kamui Kobayashi is back in the No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac in fourth.

Tim Buret (Tower Motorsport No. 8 ORECA) leads the LMP2 class by 1 lap over the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA, which is being driven by Paul-Loup Chatin.

After a Corvette Racing stranglehold in GTLM for much of the night, it is now the No. 25 BMW Team RLL M8 of Connor De Philippe with a 1s advantage in class. Antonio Garcia has taken over the No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R from Nicky Catsburg and sits second, just ahead of teammate Tommy Milner in the No. 3 sister car.

The No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3, piloted by Philip Ellis, maintains the lead in the GTD class. Raffeale Marciello has pushed the No. 75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes AMG GT3 into second, 0.5s off the lead.

Spencer Pigot has kept the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 out front, which leads the LMP3 class by five laps.