Cadillacs were running 1-2 as the Rolex 24 At Daytona heads into the ninth hour, Alex Lynn taking the lead in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing V-LMDh from Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Racing car toward the end of the hour. It was the 19th lead change in the race. The No. 31 has reportedly lost telemetry, however, meaning the drivers will have to verbally report energy usage back to the pit stand.
Brendon Hartley ran third in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura, with Nick Tandy fourth in the No. 6 Porsche. The racing has been hard-fought and traffic has continued to play a part, Hartley putting two wheels on the grass at one point while passing lapped cars.
Three LMP2 cars are on the same lap, but Ben Keating and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team (pictured above) seem to have the measure of the field.
The GTD PRO leaders are beginning to flock together. Heart of Racing remains out front with David Pittard still driving the No. 23, but Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F is beginning to apply pressure.
FIREWORKS at the @Rolex24Hours at @DAYTONA!
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Class leaders after the eighth hour:
GTP: Pipo Derani, No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-LMDh
LMP2: Ben Keating, No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA
LMP3: Rasmus Lindh, No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier
GTD PRO: David Pittard, No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage
GT3 GTD: Mikael Grenier, No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3
Notes and quotes:
• The GTD No. 75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG is in the garage with a cooling problem.
• The No. 25 BMW’s first visit to the garage was to replace the MGU and battery. After returnign to the track and running for a long time, it went back to the garage for engine warnings. It returned to the track for a single lap, then went back to the garage for a second battery change and is 133 laps down.
• The LMP2 No. 55 Proton Competition ORECA is running well after having a big crash in the second practice session and missing the third practice. Fred Poordad was in the car at the end of the hour and running second in class.
Simon Pagenaud, in the No. 60 MSR Acura, was told by his spotter as he was passing the No. 8 Tower Motorsport LMP2 car that it was fellow IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden in the car. “That felt really nice. I’m hoping to do a lot more of that this year, by the way, on the IndyCar side, but yeah, I’ll take every lap I can get right here,” Pagenaud said.
That information relayed to Newgarden, who responded, “Oh, bet he would, you know? Hey, he doesn’t get many opportunities these days. I’m sure he enjoyed that. You got to take ’em you can get em.”