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Both Corvette C8.R GTDs Behind the Wall With Issues

Both Corvette Racing entries encounter technical trouble before halfway at Daytona…

Photo: Sportscar365

Both Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTDs have gone behind the wall with apparent technical problems in a major blow to the Chevrolet factory team’s efforts to claim a second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona class win.

The No. 4 entry from last year’s GT Le Mans class-winning team, now competing in GTD Pro, was taken back to its garage in the seventh hour and was joined by its sister No. 3 car around two hours later.

In the ninth hour both cars, which had been flirting with the class top five in the opening hours, were being worked on feverishly by Pratt & Miller mechanics in front of a growing crowd of onlookers.

A Corvette Racing spokesperson told Sportscar365 that the team is inspecting the alternator on the No. 4 car, while the cause of the No. 3 car’s issue is unknown.

Antonio Garcia entered the pits during a caution period and parked up to allow crew members to remove the engine cover and inspect the rear of the No. 3 car.

In addition to going behind the wall for more extensive checks, the No. 3 entry was handed a drive-through penalty for refueling while a team member was working underneath the car.

Describing the No. 4 car’s issues, Marco Sorensen said: “We got hit from behind and that caused some big damage.

“There was a spinning LMP3 car ahead of us and I had to brake hard because there wasn’t anywhere I could go.

“Then I got the contact from behind. I don’t know who it was. The car was fine after that.

“I could still keep doing good laps and we were still in the game. Everything was good. Then just before I came into the pits, the car fully shut off on me.

“When Nick jumped in, we couldn’t start it and that started a big snowball that kept on rolling with issues. It’s tough. It was a long fix.”

After nine hours of racing, the GTD Pro category was led by Laurens Vanthoor in the KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The Belgian led from Risi Competizione Ferrari driver Daniel Serra, Pfaff Motorsports Porsche driver Mathieu Jaminet and Austin Cindric in the WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Alex Lynn held the overall lead behind the wheel of the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R with nine hours completed.

The Brit’s No. 01 Cadillac teammate Scott Dixon led from the six-hour mark until a caution period late in the seventh hour due to an off for LMP3 driver Moritz Kranz.

Dixon had a slow pit stop during the caution and dropped to sixth. Lynn’s co-driver Kevin Magnussen, meanwhile, cycled to the front but his No. 02 Cadillac was then pushed back to second during a green flag pit cycle in the eighth hour during which Action Express Racing’s Kamui Kobayashi managed to get ahead.

Kobayashi initially extended the gap over Lynn but the Chip Ganassi driver dramatically closed in before making a pass for the lead early in the ninth hour.

The sixth caution of the race for LMP3 contender Jon Bennett briefly stopping his Ligier JS P320 Nissan without power kept the top-six in DPi close and also enabled Wayne Taylor Racing to return to the lead lap after an early puncture set it two laps adrift.

A brief green flag spell ended at the conclusion of the ninth hour when the Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 had a wild spin across the tri-oval grass.

Racing Team Nederland’s Dylan Murray led the LMP2 category heading into hour 10, with G-Drive Racing’s Luca Ghiotto and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport’s Scott Huffaker for close company.

Seb Priaulx was the LMP3 leader after coming back from a 60-second stop/hold penalty for running the pit exit red light. Off-track moments and technical issues for rival cars have slightly thinned out the LMP3 lead battle.

Scott Andrews held first in GTD for Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports, from Inception Racing McLaren driver Jordan Pepper and AF Corse’s Simon Mann.

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

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