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WeatherTech Championship

Montoya Takes Lead in Opening Hour

Juan Pablo Montoya, Ricky Taylor head a close-knit DPi field after one hour at Daytona…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Juan Pablo Montoya led for Acura Team Penske after one hour of racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Montoya overtook Oliver Jarvis shortly after the first set of green flag pit stops for the DPi runners 30 minutes in, before Taylor followed his teammate through to establish the Acura ARX-05s up front.

Jarvis, driving the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P, made a good start from pole but couldn’t shake off the Acuras in the opening stint.

The Englishman’s teammate Jonathan Bomarito ran fourth for most of the opening hour but the leaders were coming under intense pressure from the Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.Rs of Filipe Albuquerque and Felipe Nasr as the second hour approached.

Jordan Taylor ran seventh in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, ahead of the two Cadillacs entered by JDC-Miller Motorsports.

In LMP2, Kyle Masson led the way in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson.

Early Problems for Porsche, Ford

Porsche’s challenge in the GT Le Mans class was dealt a blow early on by a splitter issue for the German manufacturer’s No. 912 car.

Earl Bamber made his first unscheduled stop just before the half-hour mark but the New Zealander returned the Porsche 911 RSR to its pit stall a few minutes later for a longer service.

The resulting repairs to the car’s front end have bumped the No. 912 off the lead lap, where it joins the No. 67 Ford GT which lost three laps to an apparent mechanical issue.  

Up front, Antonio Garcia overtook Nick Tandy’s pole-sitting Porsche seven minutes before the order switched back during the first round of stops.

In GT Daytona, Trent Hindman assumed the class lead after the first round of pit stops in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

At the close of the first hour, Hindman ran ahead of the Riley-entered Mercedes-AMG of Ben Keating and the GRT Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with Rolf Ineichen at the wheel.

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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