Daytona 24 Hours: Penske hits trouble, Action Express takes lead

Action Express Racing took a firm grip on the Daytona 24 Hours with six hours remaining, as Team Penske's challenge imploded just after the halfway mark

Daytona 24 Hours: Penske hits trouble, Action Express takes lead

The two teams had been fighting hard in the early hours of the morning, but the first of the Penske-Acuras hit trouble in the 14th hour handing the advantage to Action Express.

An alternator failure for the #6 Acura shared by Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron and Simon Pagenaud left the crew more than 20 laps down, and placed Penske hopes with the #7 car of Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal.

Castroneves had been running second towards the end of the 16th hour when he made contact with the #31 Action Express Cadillac and had to head to the garage for repairs.

That left the Cadillacs on their own out front, with the #5 car on the same lap as the #31 entry - the former losing its two-lap lead when it pitted to take onboard water during a full-course yellow at the end of the 18th hour.

Best of the rest was the #32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 of Paul di Resta, Bruno Senna, Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer, which held third, four laps down on the #5 Cadillac.

The only other cars within 10 laps of the lead were the #54 CORE Autosport ORECA and the #78 Jackie Chan DCR car, which was delayed by a puncture while Ho-Pin Tung was driving.

Lance Stroll's #37 DCR ORECA was 19 laps down in ninth after being taken behind the pitwall for bodywork repairs.

The #22 ESM Nissan was in trouble also and retired from a top-five position with a blown turbo. Following another puncture during the 17th hour, the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac withdrew also.

Fernando Alonso's #23 United Ligier circulated in 15th overall, 25 laps down after its earlier brake problems.

The full-course yellow, which to clear on-track debris, allowed Corvette to close the gap on the dominant Fords in the GT Le Mans division.

With six hours left, the two GTs of Dirk Muller and Ryan Briscoe - which had been a lap in the clear - were joined on the lead lap by the #3 C7.R of Mike Rockenfeller.

Corvette's #4 entry is fourth, a lap down, two laps ahead of the best of the Porsches.

The #33 Team Riley Mercedes held a narrow lead in GT Daytona over the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini after staying out during the caution.

Michael Shank Racing's #86 Acura NSX survived a hairy moment when Katherine Legge was hit by the #38 ORECA of Kyle Masson, and runs third in class.

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