As the sun set over Daytona International Speedway, the track got fast. Renger van der Zande, leading in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, kept setting fast laps – the fastest of the week. Just after sunset van der Zande turned the fastest of the race, a 1m34.042s lap on lap 122. He had turned the car over to Scott Dixon before the fifth hour ended, with the lead still in hand.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura hit big trouble with Will Stevens at the wheel, with a puncture early in the lap that saw the car limping almost all the way around the circuit. The car is currently two laps down. With the earlier puncture experienced by Helio Castroneves in the No. 60 Meyer Shank with Curb Agajanian Acura, it is now only Cadillacs on the lead lap.
The fight at the top of LMP2 is intense, with five cars in the hunt at the moment, three looking stronger than the others. The No. 29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA, No. 20 High Class Racing entry and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports car are fighting hard for LMP2 supremacy.
An astonishing 27 GTD cars between GTD Pro and GTD remain on the same lap, with a solid fight at the front of both fields. The Porsche supremacy at the front of GTD Pro has lessened, with the NO. 62 Risi Ferrari 448 GT3 leading in the hands of Davide Rigon leading at the end of the fifth hour, but the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R and No. 2 KCMG Porsche in the mix, along with the No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG.
It’s all Mercedes-AMG at the front of GTD, with Russell Ward leading in the No. 57 Winward Racing entry. The No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-AMG and the No. 32 Gilbert-Kolthoff Motorsports car complete the top three.
Leaders at the end of the fifth hour:
Scott Dixon, No 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac
Giedo van der Garde, No. 29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA
LMP3: Josh Burdon , No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier
GTD Pro: Davide Rigon, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3
GTD: Russell Ward, No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
News and Notes
- Ben Keating has completed his two-hour drive time requirement in the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac, and he did it with a low 1m35s lap. Now, he needs to finish his required time in the NO. 51 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA in LMP2. “That was maybe the most fun I’ve ever had in a racecar,” Keating said. “I worked up to it slowly, I didn’t want to take any risks, But after I did two stints and we got brand new tires, I was in the back of the DPi field, which I loved, because I got a great lap. Far and away the fastest I’ve gone around this track. Two hours of absolute blast”
- Jeff Segal, fresh out of the No. 19 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GTD car, had some observations on the intensity of the driving. “It’s a long way to go but you wouldn’t know it by watching the way some of the people are driving in the GT class,” Segal said. “I suppose it’s entertaining outside the car; inside the car. It’s a little hair raising. There was a big accident that happened when I was in the car think leaving Turn 6 and it’s unfortunate for everybody that was involved but to be honest, I can’t believe it hadn’t happened bigger and earlier the way the racing was going down. So it’s an interesting interaction the the new dynamic with GT and GT Pro. I have to say I’m sure that the GT Pro guys are not enjoying it, having the same equipment as the rest of us, but I think it’s interesting to watch and you see some of the cars that are up there and some of the names that are up there and making those factory boys work for it. So you know, I think I think that’s a nice experience, though the racing so even more chaotic for it. I think I’ll enjoy it more in the last like four to six hours of the race when it doesn’t feel criminally negligent to be racing that hard with all the prep that goes in by these by these teams.”
- The No. 79 WeatherTech Porsche, which had been fighting toward the front of GTD Pro, has been given a drive-through penalty for an incident with the No. 19 TR3 Racing Lamborghini.
- After side-by-side contact with the No. 14 VasserSullivan Lexus, the No. 59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720 S rolled to a stop, Lance Bergstein exiting the car. The No. 14 received a drive-through penalty as a result.
- The number of pit lane violations is racking up in a hurry, from speed limits to equipment issue to running red lights at pit exit.