The GTD leader, the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG, was knocked out of the lead in the West Horseshoe by Jack Aitken in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac diving inside.
Mike Skeen had put the car in front, but at the end of the second hour of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the car was in second, Kenton Koch at the wheel. That put the No. 93 Racers Edge with WTR Acura NSX Evo22 out front, now with Ashton Harrison at the wheel.
“The 31 had just come out of the pits on that lap, I believe,” said Skeen. “It was on cold tires and we got to Turn 5 and I went around the outside and it seems he just couldn’t hold the the inside curve on his cold tires. So gave us a little bump and a quick spin. We lost maybe 20 seconds or something so not too bad, car seems okay.”
The No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06 remains out front, Blomqvist getting an extra lap or two in his first two stints over the competition before handing over to Colin Braun, who was holding a four-second lead over Renger van der Zande in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac.
“We were obviously saving quite a bit of energy there, kind of like the old DPi days, exactly the same philosophy saving fuel, saving energy,” said Blomqvist. “We just kind of tried to do that; it’s also just take care of the car a little bit because obviously it puts less energy through everything.
“It’s a conscious effort behind that strategy, and it enables us to go a little bit longer. But you know everyone’s really capable of doing the same thing so it’s just depends how you want to run your race.”
The No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 experienced an issue on track, the engine shutting off under rear brake lockup for Felipe Nasr. Nasr got it re-fired and the car runs in sixth, Matt Campbell at the wheel.
With the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8 still in the garage, the No. 24 sister car also had an issue, receiving a drive-through penalty for too many crew working on the car during the second stop.
Class leaders after the second hour
GTP: Colin Braun, No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
LMP2: Alex Quinn, No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA
LMP3: Gar Robinson, No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier
GTD PRO: David Pittard, No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3
GTD: Ashton Harrison, No. 93 Racers Edge with WTR Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
Notes and Quotes
* Sebastien Bourdais, No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh: “It’s tricky conditions, I think. very windy out there and obviously pace … I was kind of like at the beginning, ‘yeah, it’s alright. Not too quick but tracks going come to us.’ And actually the track kept getting worse and worse and worse and quite a bit of of tire deg because we’re just sliding around so much. Definitely, really tricky when you get that very strong tailwind, so hanging on to the car and not forcing the matter, but really actually struggling to not overdo it because it sets the limits really early and you’re sliding around very quickly.”
* The first two races of the IMSA Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup took place on Thursday and Friday at Daytona International Speedway, won by Tyler Gonzalez and defending champion Jared Thomas. Several MX-5 Cup grads are in the field of the Rolex 24, including new teammates Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher in the GTD No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, and Kenton Koch in the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3