Drama struck immediately for the pole sitting No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, with Sebastien Bourdais dropping back immediately at the start and pulling into the pits at the end of the first lap for a downshifting issue.
The engine cover came off and the computer was plugged in, but no other apparent repairs were made. The crew then topped off the fuel and sent Bourdais back out before making a second call to the pits, ending up two laps down .
Pipo Derani seized the lead in the No.31 Action Express Racing Cadillac, followed by Ricky Taylor in the No.10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura and Tom Blomqvist in the No.60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura, but Blomqvist lost the position shortly thereafter to Alex Lynn in the No.02 CGR Cadillac. Lynn later had to serve a drive-through for passing under yellow.
The No.01 wasn’t the only favorite to hit trouble early. The No.36 Andretti Autosport Ligier LMP3 went behind the wall before the start, re-emerged, but then went out again with an apparent cooling issue.
Gar Robinson led early from pole in the No.74 Riley Motorsports Ligier, but spun in Turn 17 about 15 minutes in, handing the lead to Harry Gottsacker in the No.6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine. Gottsacker and co-driver Alec Udell were late call-ups into the car due to other drivers unable to race, joining Ugo de Wilde.
GT contenders making early calls to the pits included the No.23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin GTD Pro entry with an unknown problem, Alex Riberas remaining in the pits and eventually going behind the wall. GTD polesitter Zacharie Robichon brought the No.16 Wright Motorsports Porsche in, the crew pulled both left-side wheels off, then sent the car back out. It returned to the pits, then went behind the wall so the crew could deal with the issue, which could be something tangled up in the hubs.
The problem with the No.16 left Robby Foley in the No.96 Turner Motorsports BMW M4, who has separated himself from Madison Snow in the No.1 Paul Miller Racing BMW with a couple of GTD Pro cars.
The LMP2 and GTD Pro pole sitters were the only ones to make it through the first half-hour unscathed. Daniel Serra in the No.62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 leading Mirko Bortolotti in the No.63 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan. Ben Keating held the lead in the No.52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, followed by Henrik Hedman in the No.81 DragonSpeed ORECA.