Acura Team Penske’s challenge in the Rolex 24 at Daytona took a blow in Hour 19 when its No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi dropped off the lead lap with a broken alternator belt.
Simon Pagenaud was behind the wheel under full-course yellow conditions when smoke started billowing from the rear end of the prototype.
After an inspection in the pits, the Penske team’s mechanics wheeled the powerless car back behind the wall and into the paddock for further examination. At the time of writing, it had lost five laps to the DPi front-runners.
The No. 6 had been a mainstay in the top four of the Rolex 24 at Daytona since the start in the hands of Pagenaud, Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya.
It led the opening hour in the hands of Montoya and returned to the front in hours eight and nine with Cameron behind the wheel.
It then lost time in the 10th hour when Pagenaud had a trip across the grass following a clash with a GTD Audi, but it returned to the lead fight after an emergency change of front-end bodywork.
Penske’s sister No. 7 car, driven by Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi, remains in the hunt with just under five hours left in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.
Taylor led from the Whelen Engineering Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.Rs when the issue took hold on the No. 6 during the 12th full-course caution of the race.