Rolex 24, Hour 1: Blomqvist in control for MSR Acura

Michael L. Levitt/Motorsport Images

Rolex 24, Hour 1: Blomqvist in control for MSR Acura


Rolex 24, Hour 1: Blomqvist in control for MSR Acura


Tom Blomqvist has seized control of the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona in the first hour, keeping the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 up front through the first round of pit stops that came about 55 minutes in. Meanwhile, as the first hour ended, the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL stopped at pit in, near the HV impound. The car was sent back to the garage.

Ricky Taylor has the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura up to second, while Alex Lynn in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac was trying to hold off Nick Tandy in the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 for third.

Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac and Nick Tandy in the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 tangled lightly as Derani made a move for position under braking for Turn 1. Tandy got loose but benefitted from the ample runoff to recover. IMSA officials took a look at the incident, but took no action.

Trouble struck early for one of the LMP2 favorites, the No. 8 Tower Motorsports car of John Farano, Kyffin Simpson, Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden rolling to a stop after only a couple of laps with Farano at the wheel, bringing out the race’s first full-course caution. The water bottle had leaked onto the ECU. The car returned to the track, 10 laps down.

The No. 80 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R started by PJ Hyett also had an issue immediately at the start, making a visit to the pits and went down two laps to the GTD field.

Class leaders after the first hour

GTP: Tom Blomqvist, No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06

LMP2: Ben Keating, No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA

LMP3: Jarett Andretti, No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier

GTD PRO: David Pittard, No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3

GTD: Mike Skeen, No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3


* Two cars changed starting drivers, and thus started at the rear of the field. The GTD No. 19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracán was started by Claudio Schiavoni and the GTD PRO No. 64 TGM/TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage was started by Ted Giovanis.

* Also starting at the back was the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG, the pole-winning team having to switch chassis after a serious crash in practice. Russell Ward has pushed the No. 57 toward the front quickly, up to sixth in GTD by the end of the first hour.

* The crowd at Daytona International Speedway is said to be the largest in Rolex 24 history. The backup to get into pit lane for the pit walk was 100 yards, the crowd expanding beyond pit lane through the grass and up the frontstretch banking. The number of spectators in the grandstands for the start was far greater than in previous years.