A clean move at the end of the Rolex 24 At Daytona’s 11th hour gave Colin Braun and the No. 60 MSR Acura the lead over Alexander Sims in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac. Approaching the Le Mans chicane, Braun slipstreamed up to an LMP2 car in the top lane and easily outbraked the Cadillac riding on the inside.
The hour started with a green flag restart lead by Jack Aitken in the No. 31, with little resistance give or take a few pushes from the No. 60 — Braun back in the car for the first stint after his electric start to the race. Aitken was replaced by Alexander Sims midway though the hour.
The No. 3 Corvette saw the most issues in the hour. With Jordan Taylor behind the wheel, the car spent multiple laps playing defense against a charging No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin with Alex Riberas driving.
The Spaniard finally made a move stick on Taylor for the lead in GTD PRO but still had issues finding grip in the cold night conditions.
The fight raged on but was cut short when Taylor suddenly slowed coming out of the Turn 1 banking with a flat right rear tire. The Corvette pitted for a new tire and was forced back in a handful of laps later for a full brake replacement on the right rear. The No. 3 now runs two laps down from the lead of GTD PRO.
During the GTP pit cycle, a miscue from the No. 01 Cadillac caused Scott Dixon to pull away from his box with the fuel hose still attached. The car was given a drive-through penalty for the incident and continues to fight to stay on the lead lap.
Class leaders after the 11th hour:
GTP: Colin Braun No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
LMP2: Nicolas Lapierre No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport
LMP3: Joao Barbosa No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport
GTD Pro: Ross Gunn No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3
GTD: Marvin Kirchhofer No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3
Notes and quotes:
• Meyer Shank crew members in the garage rebuilding a gearbox assembly for reasons as yet unknown.
• No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsport with WTR Acura lost its hood at some point, but continues to run.
• “Yeah, it’s very tough, it’s just a long stint but it’s more of a mental toll. It’s much less physically demanding at night, but it’s all about keeping the concentration,” said Gabby Chaves on the difficulties of night racing.
• “It’s not a huge difference; just going a bit faster, overtaking more cars than I’m used to. Car is running very well. Just got to stay chilled and get through the night and get to tomorrow,” Alexander Sims said about the difference between GT and prototype racing at Daytona.