Cadillac vs. Acura Battle for Victory Shaping Up As Rolex 24 Enters Final Six Hours

USA Network has continuing coverage, thrilling conclusion airing on NBC at 12 pm ET


by John Oreovicz


Rolex 24 At Daytona 18-Hour Results


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The overnight hours of the 61st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona International Speedway ran largely without drama – exactly what competitors hope for in a 24-hour endurance race.


The pole-starting GTP class No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-06 and the No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh swapped the overall lead in the pre-dawn hours, with Colin Braun holding a 66.444-second advantage at the 18-hour point, three-quarters of the way through the race. Braun pitted three minutes later, handing the lead back to Scott Dixon in the 01 Cadillac prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing.


Live flag-to-flag coverage of the Rolex 24 continues on Peacock and USA Network, with the final thrilling hours of the race aired live on NBC starting at noon ET Sunday.


Six of the nine new GTP prototypes that started the race remain within three laps of the class and overall lead. Ganassi’s No. 02 Cadillac ran third, just off the lead lap, with the No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 prepared by BMW Team RLL next up, another lap down.


“I thought we would have more issues,” said Richard Westbrook, who co-drives the No. 02 Cadillac with Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber. “We really are venturing into the unknown. We’ve had a few cars drop out, but three or four have run without any issues and that’s incredible.”


The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac fielded by Action Express slowed just before reaching the 15-hour mark. Pipo Derani was able to creep around to the pits for a 25-minute stop to swap out the car’s gearbox.


About 45 minutes later, Nick Tandy veered off track at Turn 4, the kink between the International Horseshoe and the West Horseshoe in the Daytona infield. The No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry lost three laps while damaged bodywork was replaced.


In LMP2, Job van Uitert (No. 35 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07) held a one-lap lead over four cars running a lap down. In LMP3, Joao Barbosa (No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320) held a two-lap advantage over the No. 17 AWA Duqueine.


Corvette Racing used the only caution during the third quarter of the race to make up a two-lap deficit incurred when Jordan Taylor suffered a flat rear tire on the No. 3 Corvette C8.R GTD. Taylor handed the car to Antonio Garcia late in the 18th hour, putting the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 and driver Jules Gounon into the class lead.


“It was a wild stint to go two laps down and then back on the lead lap to stay in contention,” Taylor exclaimed. “The car is still good and is in one piece.”


The No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which ran close to or in the lead of the GTD PRO class through the 13th hour, dropped out with a broken left rear spindle just short of 16 hours.


The tightest battle was found in GTD, where Winward Racing’s pole-winning No. 57 Mercedes AMG GT3 continued an amazing run after starting from the back of the field in a spare car that arrived at the track Friday morning.


The Winward Mercedes fought hard with the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsport Mercedes through the night, but the No. 32 pulled off track while leading just short of the 18-hour mark with Mikael Grenier behind the wheel.


The No. 57 then pitted, handing the class lead the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by Marco Sorensen.


With three scoring segments now complete toward the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura leads the standings in GTP, the No. 35 TDS Racing ORECA team leads LMP2, the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsports team leads in LMP3, the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 leads the way in GTD PRO, and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 squad moved into the GTD points lead.