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Westbrook Leads for JDC-Miller with Two Hours Left

Richard Westbrook holds 19s lead over Ricky Taylor heading into final stages…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac driver Richard Westbrook held a 19-second lead over Ricky Taylor in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 heading into the final two hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The four contenders in the top DPi class pitted shortly before the end of the 22nd hour, with Westbrook keeping his lead with tires and fuel added to his No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R.

The Brit inherited a 15-second lead from his co-driver Loic Duval, who moved JDC-Miller to the front with a Turn 1 overtake on Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani with three and a half hours to go.

Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Cadillac then fell into the clutches of the WTR Acura, which moved ahead during an early 22nd-hour pit cycle.

Derani’s co-driver Mike Conway lost a further position when Tom Blomqvist found a way around the outside through Turn 1 at the third time of asking, bringing Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura into the podium places.

With two hours remaining, Blomqvist was just under three seconds behind Taylor and the same margin ahead of Conway.

Colton Herta led the LMP2 class for DragonSpeed with two hours remaining, as the NTT IndyCar Series driver managed a half-minute advantage over the Tower Motorsport Oreca 07 Gibson of Ferdinand Habsburg.

Riley Motorsports continued to set the tone in LMP3 with Felipe Fraga keeping last year’s championship-winning Ligier JS P320 Nissan on top heading towards the final stages.

Two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs battled for the GTD Pro class lead, with KCMG initially holding the edge over Pfaff Motorsports until the latter team got ahead shortly before two hours remaining.

Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 dropped off the two fighting Porsches in the last hour, with James Calado running 20 seconds behind Mathieu Jaminet and Laurens Vanthoor.

A Porsche also led in GTD at the close of 22 hours as Jan Heylen held a one-minute command over AF Corse Ferrari driver Toni Vilander.

A previous GTD leader, the Inception Racing Mclaren 720s GT3, lost five laps to manage an issue with the left-front brake caliper according to driver Jordan Pepper.

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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