The torrid battle for the GTD honors came to a boil at the 19h44m mark, when the top two competitors got together after racing closely for three hours. Mattei Cressoni in the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari tried to go around Philip Ellis in the class-leading No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG. Cressoni pinched down, Ellis got loose and came back into the Ferrari, sending both cars sliding. Cressoni hit the tireb arrier on the outside, cutting a tire. He limped back to the pits, losing two laps.
Ellis managed to continue without contact, retaining the lead in what was deemed a racing incident. While the Ferrari was out of the hunt for the win, Luca Stolz closed to 2.164s of the leader in the No. 75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes, with veteran Patrick Long third in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche and Bryan Sellers fourth in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini.
— IMSA (@IMSA) January 31, 2021
Up front, Felipe Albuquerque leads in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura, with Simon Pagenaud 1.865s back in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac. Juan Pablo Montoya is third in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, while the dominant No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac — penalized for wheelspin an hour ago — is 38.819s back with Scott Dixon now behind the wheel. The leaders then pitted at the end of the hour, with Dixon taking second from the No. 48 now driven by Mike Rockenfeller in the exchange.
In GTLM, Jordan Taylor passed Nick Tandy in a battle for the lead among GTLM teammates.
“It’s fun to be out there fighting with your buddies and not your enemies,” Tandy said following pit stops.
Currently, Nicky Catsburg is behind the wheel of the No. 3 Corvette, 6.814s ahead of Alexander Sims in the No. 4. Jesse Krohn is 13s back in the No. 24 BMW, followed by James Calado in the No. 62 Ferrari.
Ryan Dalziel put his No. 18 Era Motorsports entry into the lead in LMP2 to 27.719s over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport entry of Tim Buret in a battle of ORECAs. Scott Andrews continues to lead LMP3 by three laps in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier.