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Race report
IMSA Daytona 24 Hours

Daytona 24h, H3: Dixon leads Cadillac 1-2 as Porsche gives chase

Cadillac’s Scott Dixon leads after three hours of the Daytona 24 Hours from Jack Aitken’s similar V-Series.R and Dane Cameron (Porsche), as the race settled down after its crash-packed opening.

#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Renger van der Zande, Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon, Alex Palou

Sebastien Bourdais (#01 Ganassi Cadillac) took lead at the start of the second hour, passing opening-hour pacesetter Ricky Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura) with ease into Turn 1.

Taylor then fell back behind Felipe Nasr's #7 Penske Porsche 963, as it paid the penalty of its short energy fill and double-stint on tyres.

Insight: How virtual energy has become a defining principle in GTP

The #6 Penske Porsche 963 of Tandy charged up from last in GTP to fourth, but gave up that spot to Richard Westbrook in the customer JDC-Miller Motorsports 963. Westbrook then passed poleman Pipo Derani (Action Express Caddy) for third.

Dixon (in for Bourdais) and Cameron (in for Felipe Nasr) battled for the lead after second round of pitstops, which was interrupted at the end of the second hour when Steven Thomas crashed heavily at the exit of the Bus Stop chicane in the #11 TDS Racing LMP2 entry.

At the restart, Louis Deletraz led the way in the #40 WTRA Acura thanks to some pit strategy – running some 25% less energy than the chasing pack – heading Dixon, Aitken (in for Derani) and Cameron.

Deletraz though was forced to pit before his opposition, handing the lead to Dixon, who was 3s clear of the second Cadillac of Aitken. Penske Porsches ran third and fourth after three hours, with Gianmaria Bruni fifth in the Proton-run customer 963 and the first of the BMWs driven by Nick Yelloly in sixth.

#2 United Autosports ORECA LMP2-Gibson: Ben Keating, Nico Pino, Ben Hanley, Patricio O'Ward

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

#2 United Autosports ORECA LMP2-Gibson: Ben Keating, Nico Pino, Ben Hanley, Patricio O'Ward

United Autosports leads LMP2

Opening-hour leader George Kurtz (#04 Crowdstrike by APR) predictably fell back as category guns Nico Pino (#2 United Autosports) and supersub Pietro Fittipaldi (#52 Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen) steamed past at the start of the second hour.

IndyCar ace Pato O’Ward (in for Pino in the #2) repassed the #52 of Jakub Smiechowski (in for Fittipaldi) at the restart at the start of the third hour.

O’Ward led Toby Sowery (in for Kurtz) and Smiechowski after three hours of intense racing.

McLaren sets the pace in GTD field

Andrea Caldarelli (Iron Lynx Lamborghini) passed the remaining Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F, the #12 pro-am entry of Aaron Telitz, in hour two to take the lead in GTD.

But it was the Pro class Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S of Marvin Kirchoffer who emerged as the frontrunner in the third hour, leading the pro-am Lexus of Parker Thompson (in for Telitz).

Alexander Sims (Corvette) and Davide Rigon (Risi Ferrari 296) battled over third across this stint.

As the hour ticked to three, the GTD class was in the middle of a pitstop cycle, so Sims technically led, ahead of his Corvette team-mate Nicky Catsburg.

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