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WTR Cadillac DPi Goes to Front After Six Hours

Trouble for GTD competitors brings out first Caution; BMW to the fore in GTLM…

Photo: John Dagys

Renger van der Zande made his way to the front at the end of six hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Van der Zande, in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, holds a five-second cushion to Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac, while the Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Simon Pagenaud is third.

The trio have been squabbling over the overall lead since the race’s first full course caution late in the fifth hour.

It came after an incident involving Eric Lux in the No. 47 Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and Alex Riberas in The Heart of Racing’s No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 approaching the tri-oval.

The two cars were sent spinning across the grass on the front stretch, with Riberas suffering heavy front-end damage

Subsequently, the car was put in the garage due to the damage with a 60-second stop-and-hold penalty handed out to the Aston Martin.

This triggered a round a pit stops under the yellow and a shuffling of the order.

Pagenaud vaulted into the lead in the stops having only taken fuel in the No. 6 Acura DPi under the caution, with the DPi lead changing again on the restart.

Olivier Pla, who had been leading before the caution in the No. 77 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P went from third back to the lead in the matter of two laps.

Pagenaud fell to third, with Albuquerque moving up to second before the end of the sixth hour.

After a crash in the fourth hour, the No. 7 Acura DPi returned to the track 23 laps down having spent 45 minutes in the garage undergoing repairs.

BMW Team RLL found its way to the head of the GT Le Mans category after Chaz Mostert caught Matt Campbell in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR for the lead in the fifth hour.

Mostert handed the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE over to Jesse Krohn, who emerged in the class lead before the first caution, with Nick Tandy jumping in the second-placed No. 911 Porsche.

Krohn and Tandy battled for the class lead as green flag racing resumed, with the BMW prevailing and maintaining the top spot at the end of the sixth hour.

A late incident involving Pedro Lamy in the No. 98 Aston Martin and the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Nicky Catsburg saw the latter yield third in GTLM, with Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche benefiting from Corvette’s troubles.

LMP2 class leaders since the first hour PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports were being caught by the No. 81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson, however a puncture for Colin Braun in the fifth hour set the DragonSpeed car back.

Gabriel Aubry took over from Nick Boulle at the wheel of the class-leading No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen entry, while the No. 8 Tower Motorsports by Starworks car has moved up to second in class.

GTD has also changed under the caution, with the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Lars Kern having been the leader up until that point but having slowed to give back a position illegally gained under the yellow.

Kern dropped to fourth in class, with the No. 44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini of Spencer Pumpelly now leading.

Slade Perrins is an Australian-based junior reporter for Sportscar365. Perrins won the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars 'Young Gun Award' for journalism for his work with speedcafe.com.

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