The No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 went for a high-speed spin through the infield kink, highlighting what was an otherwise quiet hour of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The rear decking was damaged, and the car lost three laps as the team wrestled to secure the replacement bodywork in place.
The problem that emerged with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDh in the previous hour was revealed to be related to the left-rear suspension which was damaged after contact with a GTD car. After 30 minutes in the garage, the No. 31 Cadillac returned to the race. Jack Aitken is in the car and is 17 laps behind the race leader. Two GTP cars have now encountered trouble in the last two hours, leaving just three on the lead lap, headed by the No. 01 Cadillac Racing V-LMDh with Sebastien Bourdais still at the wheel.
While there is still plenty of time on the clock, you would be hard-pressed to find a more compelling story than the one that has emerged in GT Daytona. Regardless of what unfolds in the coming hours, Winward Racing’s time at the speedway in January has been remarkable.
After securing pole position at the Roar, a violent crash one week later left Lucas Auer hospitalized, and the team’s chassis totaled. The team flew from Florida to Houston to retrieve another chassis, built it up the day before race and made it to the green flag on Saturday.
Fast-forward to Sunday morning and the chassis that was sat in Texas on Friday is leading the Rolex 24. The No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage and the No. 57 have been trading the lead for much of the last few hours.
Class leaders after the 16th hour:
GTP: Sebastien Bourdais, No. 01 Cadillac Racing V-LMDh
LMP2: Giedo van der Garde, TDS Racing ORECA 07
LMP3: Nico Pino, Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier JS P320
GTD PRO: Jules Gounon, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
GTD: Indy Dontje, No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
• The No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage in GTD Pro ended the hour sitting stationary on pit road as the team worked to repair what appeared to be a suspension failure for the car. Alex Riberas was navigating the exit of Turn 1 when something in the left rear suspension of the car seemed to fail.
• The No. 64 Team TGM Aston Martin, which brought out a full course yellow in the previous hour, has returned to the track. It is 30 laps behind the leading GTD Pro car.