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Pit Call Puts Action Express in Front After Six Hours

Strategy call during a caution period gives Pipo Derani, AXR the lead after 6 hours…

Photo: Michael Levitt/IMSA

Pipo Derani stayed out during the fourth full course yellow of the Rolex 24 at Daytona to put the No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R in front for the first time.

Derani, who is due to stop in the Whelen Engineering car he shares with Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr, cycled to the head of the field when the rest of the DPi runners pitted under caution.

The race was broken up late in the sixth hour by the safety car following a clash between the No. 52 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson and the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac at turn one.

Prior to that, Kamui Kobayashi had led since taking over the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac from Fernando Alonso, who took the lead with a string of overtakes in the fourth hour.

Kobayashi consolidated his co-driver’s strong evening pace by setting the fastest lap of the race to get away from Dane Cameron in the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi.

The Toyota LMP1 driver then managed to maintain his net advantage over the Acura and the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P during the pit stops under caution.

The No. 55 Mazda is recovering through the DPi field after Harry Tincknell dropped to eighth when he was spun around by the No. 51 Heinricher Racing w/Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

In GT Le Mans, Porsche driver Nick Tandy lost two places in the pits while Oliver Gavin jumped to the class lead in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R.

In second at the quarter-distance milestone was the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE ahead of Tandy, with the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE in fourth.

After six hours, GT Daytona was paced by the No. 33 Riley-entered Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Felipe Fraga, who took the lead with a brave overtake on the outside of Audi factory driver Christopher Mies in hour four.

DragonSpeed’s No. 18 Oreca 07 Gibson led a 1-2 for the American squad in LMP2.

Positions After 6 Hours

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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