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Van der Zande Moves Ganassi to Front at Four-Hour Mark

No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac moves into Rolex 24 lead at end of fourth hour…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Renger van der Zande led the Rolex 24 at Daytona on four hours courtesy of a restart overtake on Will Stevens after the second of two lengthy full-course caution periods.

Van der Zande moved his No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. past Stevens’ Acura ARX-05 just after the field took the green flag with three hours and 56 minutes in the book.

The restart followed a caution period of more than 20 minutes to clear up a multi-car accident at the start of the speedway banking at the Tun 6 exit.

Alex Riberas’ The Heart of Racing GTD Pro-class Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Kenny Habul’s SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and Ayrton Ori’s No. 6 Muehlner Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan sustained damage in a heavy collision with the right-side wall. IMSA has not issued a medical update on the drivers.

The accident came only seven minutes after a green flag from a caution that consumed half of the fourth hour.

That intervention was caused by a crash for Kyle Washington in the GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. Washington was checked and released from the medical center.

Hour 1 leader Kamui Kobayashi handed the No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac over to Jose Maria Lopez during the third round of pit stops in the second hour.

Lopez initially ran well but then came under pressure from Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 01 Action Express Cadillac. At the start of the third hour, Bourdais clipped Lopez’s right-rear from behind on the run down to Turn 1.

Despite his car receiving a new front end, Bourdais’ co-driver van der Zande emerged at the head of the field with Stevens in tow.

Lopez lost ground when he went straight on into the Turn 6 run-off after his stop, while Helio Castroneves who had to make an unplanned stop when his Meyer Shank Racing Acura developed a left-rear puncture.

In GTD Pro, a well-timed pit visit from Risi Competizione just before the first of the lengthy cautions brought James Calado out in the class lead.

The positional shift came after a period of Porsche command in which KCMG, Pfaff Motorsports and WeatherTech Racing set the tone with their 911 GT3 Rs.

WeatherTech was dealt a blow when Alessio Picariello picked up a drive-through for turning around the GTD-class TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

KCMG and Pfaff remained at the sharp end with Vasser Sullivan/Lexus and Corvette Racing coming into the mix with dusk approaching.

Mercedes-AMG customer Winward Racing advanced to the GTD lead courtesy of a Mikael Grenier overtake on Carbahn with Peregrine Racing’s Sandy Mitchell.

G-Drive Racing’s No. 69 Oreca 07 Gibson was the LMP2 leader approaching the fifth hour, while Andretti Autosport held the edge in LMP3.

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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