Just as it looked like Cadillac had a firm grasp on the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Acura and Meyer Shank Racing came through to break into the lead with Tom Blomqvist passing Tristan Nunez on a restart to lead hour 17.
Meanwhile, Cadillac lost another bullet in its gun as the fuel pump issue with the No. 02 Cadillac DPi-V.R. reared its head again, this time more seriously. Earl Bamber took the No. 02 Cadillac into the garage where repairs are underway.
With issues for the No. 48, No. 01, and No. 02 Cadillacs, DPi has turned into a four-horse race with two Cadillacs and two Acuras slated to fight to the finish with sunrise on the horizon.
As the No. 02 Cadillac was pulling into the garage, the No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, which was at the fore of the GT Daytona Pro field, limped into the pits with smoke billowing from the engine compartment. Daniel Juncadella was leading the class earlier in the hour but lost the lead to Laurens Vanthoor’s No. 2 Porsche before the problem developed.
The hour ended under a full-course yellow after the No. 69 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07 came to a halt at Turn 5. The car came to a stop while trying to avoid the spinning No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07 but never regained power.
The No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 still leads LMP3 by one lap and the No. 16 Wright Motorsports leads in GTD.
News and notes:
• George Kurtz in the No. 54 CORE autosport spun in the Le Mans Chicane while running third in LMP3. The car was undamaged and continued after a brief stop in the grass at the entry to the chicane.
• The No. 11 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07 was given a stop and hold of 60 seconds after slamming into the front of the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari while trying to enter the pits. Josh Pierson had passed the No. 97 Mercedes around the outside but did not see the No. 21 Ferrari who was to the inside of the Mercedes when he applied the brakes to slow for the pits.
• The No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720s GT3 made a second pitstop under the full-course yellow for the mechanics to examine the engine compartment. The car was leading GTD at the time and dropped down to fifth at the end of the hours after the unscheduled stop.