The 2020 Daytona 24 Hours saw the green at 13:40 local time as Mazda driver Oliver Jarvis immediately took control of the field – until an unleashed Kamui Kobayashi had other ideas.
DAYTONA 24 HOURS | DPI PREVIEW | LMP2 PREVIEW | GTLM PREVIEW | GTD PREVIEW | CORVETTE C8.R TECH ANALYSIS | INTERVIEW NICK CATSBURG | INTERVIEW DENNIS OLSEN | INTERVIEW RENGER VAN DER ZANDE | PRE-RACE NOTEBOOK | RACE UPDATE 2: SATURDAY EVENING | RACE UPDATE 3: SUNDAY NIGHT | RACE UPDATE 4: SUNDAY MORNING | RACE UPDATE 5: SUNDAY FINISH | SATURDAY GALLERY | INTERVIEW KAMUI KOBAYASHI | INTERVIEW JESSE KROHN
21:06 hours to go | 104 laps complete | 16:34 local time
DPI | #10 KONICA MINOLTA CADILLAC DPi-V.R / KAMUI KOBAYASHI
The polesitting #77 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P held the lead and opened up a slight gap of several seconds in the opening stint. Juan Pablo Montoya in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 followed in second place with Felipe Nasr, driving the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, right on his heels and eyeing that one opening needed to shoot into second place. That moment came 25 minutes into the race: coming onto the back straight, Nasr slipstreamed his car next to Montoya’s and outbraked him into the Bus Stop.
Jonathan Bomarito (#55 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P) set off the first round of pitstops, making his first regular stop half an hour into the race and followed into the pits a lap later by the #77 sister Mazda. The rest of the DPi field quickly followed.
Whelen Engineering Racing became the first team to hit on-track troubles as the air intake was momentarily blocked. A quick visit to the pits to remove the object solved the issue, but did cost the now João Barbosa-driven Cadillac second place.
The #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, meanwhile, started to move through the field after settling in for the first hour. With Kamui Kobayashi having taken over from Ryan Briscoe, the Wayne Taylor Racing squad quickly moved up to second place until with the fourth hour approach Kobayashi had the gap down to a second and immediate made a successful pass for the lead going into the first turn. This left Tristan Nunez, whose #77 Mazda had been leading the opening stints, in second, and Dane Cameron (#6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) in third 9 seconds back.
LMP2 | #52 PR1 MATHIASEN MOTORSPORTS ORECA 07 / SIMON TRUMMER
In the classes behind, all polesitters held their position, with the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 of Ben Keating driving far away from the rest of the LMP2 field. The American was reeled back in during the third stint when Ben Hanley took the wheel of the #81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 before Henrik Hedman took over after a single stint. With Simon Trummer taking charge of the LMP2 class leading #52 PR1 machine the gap has again grown to almost minute.
GTLM | #912 PORSCHE GT TEAM 991 RSR / EARL BAMBER
While GTLM leaders Nick Tandy (#911 Porsche 991 RSR), Antonio García (#3 Corvette C8.R) and Laurens Vanthoor (#912 Porsche 991 RSR) were driving steadily within a couple of seconds from each other for the first stint, Philipp Eng in the #25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE had Tommy Milner (#4 Corvette C8.R) and John Edwards (#24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE) all over him waiting to take fourth place away from the Austrian. Despite the pressure Eng was under, he stood his ground – until a problem changing a wheel during the second pitstop cost the BMW team a heap of time. Another major change up front was Vanthoor moving his #912 Porsche 991 RSR into second as García’s Corvette dropped to fifth place after the first pitstop. Eng and García’s pitstop problems allowed BMW pilot Edwards to move into third and James Calado in the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE to take fourth.
Earl Bamber (#912 Porsche 991 RSR)and Fred Makowiecki (#911 Porsche 991 RSR) – having switched positions after the third pitstops – are running a close first and second into the third hour while Chaz Mostert (#24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE) is 11 seconds behind in third.
GTD | #9 PFAFF MOTORSPORTS PORSCHE 991.2 GT3R / DENNIS OLSEN
GTD saw polesitter Zach Robichon retained the lead all throughout the first hours, setting forth the pace the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 991.2 GT3R showcased during qualifying. Trent Hindman took the #57 Heinricher Racing with MSR Acura NSX GT3 by the horns and moved from fifth on the grid to second at the end of the first hour in the tightly running GT3-spec class, but saw his team drop back to fourth after the second pitstop.
Bill Auberlen brought the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 back out of the pits in second after taking over the car from Robby Foley. The BMW, that held second place until the first pitstop, is currently running P5 out of sync after Dillon Machavern took over.
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