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Dixon Leads First Hour at Daytona

Dixon leads as 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona is underway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Scott Dixon leads as the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona is underway, but now under the first full caution, from Daytona International Speedway.

Dixon jumped past polesitter Ozz Negri on the start, with Dixon then controlling the pace in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford until the first round of pit stops.

Although he wasn’t the last of the Prototype leaders to pit on the sequence – that distinction went to the No. 7 Starworks Motorsport Dinan BMW-powered Riley of Rubens Barrichello who stayed out for 43 minutes – Dixon regained the lead once the cycle was complete.

Negri, in the polesitting No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda was second ahead of the sister No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford and emerging No. 0 DeltaWing DWC13 coupe, the latter of which set the early fastest lap of the race in the hands of Andy Meyrick before Dixon trumped it later on.

Scott Pruett was second at the end of the first hour in the No. 01 with Joao Barbosa third in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, Negri fourth and Meyrick fifth.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing and No. 90 Racing Corvette DPs are fighting traction control issues reported in the first hour.

Colin Braun in the No. 54 CORE autosport Oreca FLM09 got the early jump on Prototype Challenge polesitter Johnny Mowlem in the No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 before ceding the lead on the first round of pit stops. Mowlem regained the lead at that point.

The GT Le Mans battle was intense between Gianmaria Bruni, who led most of the first hour in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia, and polesitter Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R.

Gavin and Jan Magnussen in the sister No. 3 Corvette run 1-2 in GTLM at the one-hour mark, with the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR third.

Beyond those three, two cars in class had issues. The No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE was issued a drive-through penalty for a speeding violation and the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR lost six laps from the outset with an alternator change.

Daniel Serra moved to the early lead in GT Daytona in the Brazilian No. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia after starting fifth, with the team car, the No. 63 Ferrari started by Townsend Bell, in second. Polesitter James Davison runs third in the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

The first caution flag of the race flew at the 52-minute mark, as Satoshi Hoshino stopped on track on the oval turns 3-4 in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, with apparent gearbox issues.

No caution flew for a few other minor incidents. Shane Lewis spun in the No. 66 RG Racing Riley-BMW in the Bus Stop and caused minor bodywork damage to the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia upon re-entry.

The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 driven by Tom Kimber-Smith spun at the first lap, and the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 had two off-course excursions at the Bus Stop with Renger van der Zande driving.

More issues struck the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America, which pitted at the first lap to check either suspension or brakes.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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