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Westbrook Takes Lead at Hour Two Mark at Daytona

Westbrook leads during pit cycle at Rolex 24 second hour…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

Richard Westbrook has the lead overall in the No. 90 Racing Corvette DP at the two-hour mark, as the second round of pit stops is underway.

Westbrook had been behind the erstwhile dominant Scott Dixon in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford, who had led the majority of the second hour before pitting.

Dixon was due to hand off to NASCAR star and former Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray at the second stop, but will stay in for a triple stint.

Rubens Barrichello in the No. 7 Starworks Motorsport Riley-Dinan BMW and Tom Long in the No. 07 SpeedSource Mazda SKYACTIV-D ran third. Long took over the overall lead – a monumental achievement for Mazda a year after debuting the car here last year – once Westbrook and Barrichello pitted.

Other class leaders at the two-hour mark included Stephen Simpson in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca FLM09 (Prototype Challenge), Pierre Kaffer in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia (GT Le Mans) and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R (GT Daytona).

The second caution flew within the hour for myriad issues as five cars all had problems almost simultaneously.

Both the DeltaWing and No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 stopped on course at Turn 5, with those stoppages causing the yellow.

Damien Faulkner had an odd incident in the No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America with a spin into Turn 1 and left rear bumper damage, although the talented Irishman returned to the pits and resumed.

Elsewhere the No. 31 Whelen Engineering-backed Action Express Racing Corvette DP and No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 both went behind the wall at the same time.

It’s been a fraught day for the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, which has been issued two penalties and stopped on track at the exit to the infield just past the two-hour mark with Paul Dalla Lana behind the wheel. The car was brought back to the paddock on a flatbed.

The No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE also had a left rear puncture, which Bill Auberlen accused Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR driver Nick Tandy of causing from contact.

“He’s never gone by me without trying to hit me,” Auberlen told IMSA Radio’s Greg Creamer, while also saying of Tandy, “You have to be a complete idiot… and that’s what he is.”

Tandy responded to Creamer: “Must be one of mine and Bill’s agreements to disagree. We touched and I’m surprised we had no damage. I don’t know if his car twitched or mine. Bascially we had to pit to check the damage.”

Elsewhere Wright Motorsports’ No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America has also had a setback with a stop and hold plus three minutes, 30 seconds, for an improper pass around under caution.

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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