Daytona 24 Hours: WTR clinches victory as late puncture ends Ganassi hopes

The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing team secured its fourth Daytona 24 Hours victory in five years, after the pursuing Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac blew a tyre with seven minutes to go

Daytona 24 Hours: WTR clinches victory as late puncture ends Ganassi hopes

WTR's Acura - in the hands of Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves - won by just 4.7s from Action Express Racing's #48 Cadillac, which passed Harry Tincknell's Mazda with four minutes to go.

Having secured the lead in the early morning thanks to a charge from Rossi, who dispatched Kevin Magnussen in the #01 Ganassi Cadillac, the WTR team barely looked back and secured its first victory running the Acura ARX-05 DPi car.

It lost the lead in the pitlane to the #60 Meyer Shank Racing team during a yellow flag period, following a puncture for Scott Dixon with less than 2h30m on the clock, but Taylor managed to dive down the inside of MSR's Dane Cameron to reclaim control of the race.

Dixon emerged from the pits down in fifth, and then stopped again under the yellow - along with all the other Prototypes - to fit the other three fresh tyres and to be replaced in the cockpit by Renger van der Zande.

Mazda's Oliver Jarvis and AXR's Kamui Kobayashi followed Taylor through half a lap later. The Acura, Mazda and Cadillac kept pulling away from Cameron - and covered only by 1.5s - when the 12th caution flew for debris on the track.

The first three maintained position on the restart, but van der Zande moved the Ganassi Cadillac past Cameron's MSR Acura into fourth.

In the next round of stops, Ganassi got van der Zande out ahead of Kobayashi and Harry Tincknell, who had taken the reins in the #55 Mazda, and began to get onto the tail of WTR's Albuquerque.

Tincknell then started applying the pressure to the Ganassi Cadillac, and duly snagged second with 80 minutes on the clock - and started trying to close the 3s deficit to Albuquerque.

WTR Acura's lead remained intact and pitted simultaneously with Mazda with 55 minutes to go, emerging with 5s between them, but both had been jumped by the earlier stopping Cadillacs of van der Zande and Kobayashi.

Van der Zande and Kobayashi made their final stops with 33 minutes to go, taking on four new tyres - but Albuquerque only took on two new tyres when he and Tincknell made their final stops.

Diving past Tincknell for second on warmer tyres, van der Zande was still five seconds behind leader Albuquerque - a gap he immediately scythed away at.

With 15mins to go, he cut WTR Acura's lead down to a slither - but with six minutes to go, another right-rear puncture sent van der Zande limping to the pits, eventually to emerge in fifth.

Kobayashi had gained a second wind in the final stint and passed Tincknell for second place, and while the Mazda driver fought back, he came up 1.8s short.

Montoya completed the race for Meyer Shank in fourth, 13s clear of the unfortunate van der Zande.

In LMP2, Era Motorsport beat the Tower Motorsport by Starworks team, thanks to a last minute splash-and-dash for Gabriel Aubry.

Ryan Dalziel held the lead for the Era squad in the final three hours by just 5s over Matthieu Vaxiviere in the Tower Motorsport car, but pitted at the 12th restart to allow Vaxiviere into the lead.

Vaxiviere was handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the restart, which halved Era Motorsport's deficit to 45s, and Dalziel went back into the lead when Vaxiviere stopped with 1h24m to go to hand over to Gabriel Aubry.

Aubry regained the lead when Dalziel handed the Era car to Paul-Loup Chatin, but the former's late stop thrust Chatin back into the lead to secure LMP2 honours.

Riley Motorsports dominated LMP3 in the end, Spencer Pigot driving to the chequered flag three laps ahead of Joao Barbosa in the Sean Creech Motorsport car, while Muehlner Motorsports collected third, a further four laps adrift.

Corvette Racing scored a 1-2 in GT Le Mans - its first Rolex 24 win since 2016, as the #3 car of Nick Catsburg, Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor beat the Tommy Milner, Alexander Sims and Nick Tandy-populated #4 entry.

Catsburg struggled to get the #3 Corvette moving during the caution-instigated pitstops, handing the class lead to Sims and dropping to fourth behind Alessandro Pier Guidi in the Risi Ferrari 488 and Augusto Farfus who had taken over the #24 BMW.

The Dutchman's day went from bad to worse as the car was assisted while outside its pitbox and thus he served a drive-through penalty.

Although Farfus took the lead on the following caution restart from Sims, the British driver reclaimed it before handing over to Milner for the final stint.

But the #4 dropped behind the #3, as the latter had stopped earlier to swap Catsburg for Taylor and secured a fresh tyre advantage - although the duo had dropped behind Farfus.

Taylor drafted around the outside of Farfus' M8 along the pit straight with just over an hour left, with the pair of them 6s ahead of Milner who was 38s up on the Risi Ferrari.

Milner then had a far shorter final stop than Taylor and Farfus and moved the #4 car ahead, as the Corvette pair battled for second - behind the off-sequence Ferrari - with less than 40 minutes to go.

Taylor got ahead as Pier Guidi made his final stop with 20 minutes left - Taylor with a 1.5s lead over Milner who in turn had nine seconds over Farfus.

Winward Racing and SunEnergy1 scored a 1-2 for the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 in the GT Daytona class.

With three hours to go, the race had distilled into a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 fight between Maro Engel of Winward and Luca Stolz in the SunEnergy1 machine, with Engel edging away.

Winward Racing got Engel out swiftly when he made his final stop, and he commenced the 48min run to the flag with a 10s lead over the Sun Energy1 car of Marciello.

He in turn had 7s over the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini of Caldarelli who now only had two seconds in hand over Jan Heylen of Wright Motorsports.

Over the final stint the four separated again, and Engel won the class by 16.3s over Marciello, with Caldarelli third, 10s ahead of the Wright Porsche.

Daytona 24 Hours results

Pos Class Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 DPi R.Taylor, F.Albuquerque, A.Rossi, H.Castroneves Konica Minolta Acura Acura 807 24h00m14.673s
2 DPi J.Johnson, K.Kobayashi, S.Pagenaud, M.Rockenfeller Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac 807 4.704s
3 DPi O.Jarvis, H.Tincknell, J.Bomarito Mazda Motorsports Mazda 807 6.562s
4 DPi D.Cameron, O.Pla, J.P.Montoya, A.Allmendinger Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura 807 54.418s
5 DPi R.van der Zande, K.Magnussen, S.Dixon Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac 807 1m07.744s
6 LMP2 D.Merriman, K.Tilley, R.Dalziel, P-L.Chatin Era Motorsport ORECA/Gibson 787 20 Laps
7 LMP2 J.Farano, G.Aubry, T.Buret, M.Vaxiviere Tower Motorsport by Starworks ORECA/Gibson 787 20 Laps
8 DPi F.Nasr, M.Conway, P.Derani, C.Elliott Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac 783 24 Laps
9 LMP2 E.Lux, D.Defrancesco, F.Schiller, C.Mies Dragonspeed USA ORECA/Gibson 783 24 Laps
10 LMP2 C.Ware, S.Yoluc, A.Dillon, S.Muller RWR Eurasia Ligier/Gibson 778 29 Laps
11 GTLM A.Garcia, J.Taylor, N.Catsburg Corvette Racing Chevrolet 770 37 Laps
12 GTLM T.Milner, N.Tandy, A.Sims Corvette Racing Chevrolet 770 37 Laps
13 GTLM J.M.Edwards, J.Krohn, A.Farfus, M.Wittmann BMW Team RLL BMW 769 38 Laps
14 GTLM J.Calado, A.P.Guidi, J.Gounon, D.Rigon Risi Competizione Ferrari 769 38 Laps
15 GTLM C.De Phillippi, P.Eng, T.Glock, B.Spengler BMW Team RLL BMW 768 39 Laps
16 LMP2 S.Thomas, T.Nunez, T.Merrill, M.Bell WIN Autosport ORECA/Gibson 764 43 Laps
17 GTLM C.MacNeil, K.Estre, R.Lietz, G.Bruni WeatherTech Racing Porsche 760 47 Laps
18 LMP3 G.Robinson, S.Pigot, S.Andrews, O.Askew Riley Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 757 50 Laps
19 LMP3 L.Willsey, J.Barbosa, W.Boyd, Y.Clairay Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier/Nissan 754 53 Laps
20 LMP3 M.Kranz, L.Horr, K.Koch, S.McAleer Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine/Nissan 750 57 Laps
21 LMP3 J.Cox, D.Murry, A.McCusker, J.Bleekemolen Riley Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 746 61 Laps
22 GTD R.Ward, P.Ellis, I.Dontje, M.Engel Winward Racing Mercedes 745 62 Laps
23 GTD K.Habul, R.Marciello, M.Grenier, L.Stolz Sun Energy 1 Mercedes 745 62 Laps
24 GTD B.Sellers, M.Snow, C.Lewis, A.Caldarelli Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini 745 62 Laps
25 GTD T.Hindman, P.Long, J.Heylen, K.Bachler Wright Motorsports Porsche 745 62 Laps
26 GTD I.James, R.De Angelis, D.Turner, R.Gunn Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin 745 62 Laps
27 GTD B.Auberlen, R.Foley, A.Read, C.Herta Turner Motorsport BMW 744 63 Laps
28 GTD M.Root, C.Eastwood, B.Keating, R.Westbrook TF Sport Aston Martin 744 63 Laps
29 GTD S.Mann, N.Nielsen, D.Serra, M.Cressoni AF Corse Ferrari 743 64 Laps
30 GTD D.Morad, M.Skeen, B.Johnson, M.Buhk Alegra Motorsports Mercedes 741 66 Laps
31 LMP3 J.Bennett, G.Kurtz, C.Braun, M.McMurry CORE Autosport Ligier/Nissan 737 70 Laps
32 GTD R.Ferriol, E.Bamber, K.Legge, C.Nielsen Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 737 70 Laps
33 GTD J.Potter, A.Lally, S.Pumpelly, M.Farnbacher Magnus with Archangel Acura 736 71 Laps
34 DPi T.Vautier, L.Duval, S.Bourdais JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac 723 Not running
35 LMP2 R.Lacorte, A.Fuoco, A.Belicchi, G.Sernagiotto Cetilar Racing Dallara/Gibson 710 97 Laps
36 GTD Z.Robichon, L.Vanthoor, L.Kern, M.Campbell Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 702 105 Laps
37 LMP3 R.Lindh, C.Cassels, M.Llarena, A.Ori Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 687 120 Laps
38 GTD R.Megennis, Z.Veach, T.Bell, F.Montecalvo Vasser Sullivan Lexus 681 126 Laps
39 GTD E.Jones, B.Curtis, R.Briscoe, M.Gomes Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 676 Not running
40 GTD A.Metni, A.Davis, J.Hildebrand, D.Yount NTE Sport Audi 665 Not running
41 LMP2 B.Keating, M.Jensen, S.Huffaker, N.Lapierre PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 664 Not running
42 GTD A.Telitz, O.Gavin, K.Kirkwood, J.Hawksworth Vasser Sullivan Lexus 641 Not running
43 GTD T.Giovanis, O.Trinkler, H.Plumb, M.Plumb Team TGM Porsche 515 Not running
44 LMP3 M.Kvamme, R.Norman, G.Chaves, T.Estep Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine/Nissan 413 Not running
45 GTD R.Ineichen, M.Bortolotti, S.Schothorst, M.Mapelli GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 347 Not running
46 GTD M.Goikhberg, F.Perera, A.Costa, T.Zimmermann GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 195 Not running
47 LMP2 F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, J.van Uitert, C.Milesi Racing Team Nederland ORECA/Gibson 64 Not running
48 LMP2 D.Andersen, F.Habsburg, A.Fjordbach, R.Kubica High Class Racing ORECA/Gibson 56 Not running
49 LMP2 R.Hodes, G.Grist, R.Van Kalmthout, B.Hanley Dragonspeed USA ORECA/Gibson 53 Not running



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Daytona 24 Hours: WTR Acura holds lead over AXR Cadillac after hour 21

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