DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The JDC-Miller MotorSports No. 5 Cadillac DPi led the way after the completion of four hours during the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Saturday evening.
Vautier, who is sharing the No. 5 entry with fellow Frenchman Loic Duval and Sebastien Bourdais, has been in the car for more than an hour and cycled back into the lead after a round of pit stops just before the completion of the four hour of racing.
The No. 5 team was leading the way by more than four seconds after four hours over the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi currently driven by Formula One veteran Kevin Magnussen, who is sharing the car with NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande.
Third overall and in the DPi class belonged to defending race winners Wayne Taylor Racing, who had Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 Acura DPi after four hours. The WTR team sat more than 10 seconds behind the JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi at the four hour mark.
The LMP2 division was in the control of the No. 11 WIN Autosport Oreca 07-Gibson piloted by Tristan Nunez at the four-hour mark, with Nunez holding a nearly six-second lead in the class over the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07-Gibson that was being piloted by Scott Huffaker.
Riley Motorsport found itself in control of the LMP3 class after four hours were complete, with the team’s No. 74 Ligier JS P320 sitting at the top of the class pylon by a reasonably comfortable margin of more than 40 seconds over Lance Willsey in the No. 33 Ligier JS P320 fielded by Sean Creech Motorsports.
In GT Le Mans, the dominant Corvette Racing squad was once again back at the front, with the No. 3 Corvette C8.R driven by Jordan Taylor leading the second No. 4 entry driven by Nick Tandy by nearly two seconds.
Behind the Corvette duo, their closest pursuer was the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE driven by Philip Eng, who was more than 13 seconds arrears of the leading Corvette in class.
The GT Daytona class saw an intense fight between the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus driven by Kyle Kirkwood and the No. 57 HTP Winward Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Indy Dontje just as the clock clicked over the four hour mark.
Dontje managed to take the lead from Kirkwood down the backstretch and into the bus stop after chasing down Kirkwood in the darkness around the Daytona Int’l Speedway road course.
The race was slowed early on by four caution periods for incidents or debris, with the race completing its first uninterrupted hour of racing just shy of the four-hour mark.
The first incident of the race took place just as the GT Le Mans class was coming to the green flag. Bruno Spengler, at the wheel of the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE, slammed into the rear of the WeatherTech Racing Porsche driven by Kevin Estre.
The Porsche ended up spinning and bouncing off the Risi Competitzione Ferrari before continuing with significant damage, with IMSA officials issuing a drive-through penalty to Spengler for causing the incident.