The Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi overcame a lengthy penalty to move back into the lead of the 2020 Daytona 24 Hours going into the final three hours after a hectic morning.
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After the longest stint of green flag running in Daytona 24 Hours history – 7hours, 48 minutes and 28 seconds – three caution periods have shaken up the order.
3:00 hours to go | 725 laps complete | 10:40 local time
DPI | #10 KONICA MINOLTA CADILLAC DPI-V.R / RYAN BRISCOE
The morning began like the night had ended – with the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac leading – but that appeared to have changed with just under 5 hours and 30 minutes remaining.
During a caution period, to recover the #74 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 which locked up and couldn’t be moved at the Western Horseshoe, Ryan Briscoe drove straight through a red light at pit exit. The stewards immediately gave the car a stop and hold plus 60 seconds penalty.
That knocked Briscoe down to fourth, and a lap down on the leaders. However, the Australian benefited from a pass around thanks to a caution period to move back onto the lead lap. A number of subsequent caution periods moved Briscoe back into the hunt and he turned up the engine to full power as he charged down the cars ahead.
First, he got past the #77 Mazda Team Joest DPi – which now sits in third with Oliver Jarvis behind the wheel – and then he quickly caught and passed the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac with João Barbosa behind the wheel. The latter, which had benefited from Briscoe’s penalty to sweep into the lead, was powerless to defend from the Wayne Taylor car and was relegated to second – eight seconds down.
Further down in DPi, the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing car has been back behind the wall getting work done to its gearbox which has dropped it to seventh.
LMP2 | #81 DRAGONSPEED USA ORECA 07 / HENRIK HEDMAN
It’s been a change around in the secondary prototype class as well as a mechanical problem for long-time leader PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports has handed DragonSpeed USA a 20-second advantage at the top of the LMP2 field.
Just before the six hours to go mark, Ben Keating pulled in the Oreca 07 with an issue, which forced the team to take off the front and rear bodywork on the car while it was sat on the pit apron to diagnose the problem. After losing several minutes while the PR1 team worked at it, the car is back on track without any further troubles.
Third is the Era Motorsport car, which has a deficit of seven laps to the lead pair, but with six laps in hand over the Tower Motorsport by Starworks entry.
GTLM | #24 BMW TEAM RLL BMW M8 GTE / JOHN EDWARDS
John Edwards holds the lead of the GT Le Mans class for BMW Team RLL after a captivating back-and-forth battle with the #912 Porsche GT Team 991 RSR of Mathieu Jaminet for most of the morning running.
Lying in third during the caution period to recover the GEAR Racing by Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 – which caught fire on the speedway on its outlap after two hours in the garage – Edwards quickly squeezed past the #911 Porsche GT Team 991 RSR on the first lap after the green flag and moved onto the rear bumper of Mathieu Jaminet in the #912 Porsche.
Edwards gradually edged closer and finally made his decisive move by dipping two wheels over the double yellow lines coming round to the finish line and squeezed his way down the inside of Jaminet going into turn one. The Frenchman tried to fight back at the International Horseshoe, but the BMW had just too much grunt on the straights.
That changed though, just four minutes until the four hours to go mark as Jaminet went round the outside of Edwards at the International Horseshoe which gave him the inside at the Kink before the Western Horseshoe. The positions didn’t stay that way for long though, as Edwards once again forced himself to the front of the field after a thrilling tussle with the Frenchman on the infield.
Matt Campbell is third in the #911 Porsche which has been consistently in the podium places throughout the night and into the morning.
GTD | #48 PAUL MILLER RACING LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN GT3 / COREY LEWIS
Paul Miller Racing has maintained its lead at the top of GT Daytona with 20 hours completed but the team has been squabbling for the lead with both the Magnus GRT Lamborghini Huracán GT3 and the WRT Speedstar Audi Sport R8 LMS GT3 throughout the morning.
Coming into the daylight hours with Madison Snow behind the wheel of the Huracán, Lewis took over the Paul Miller car with immediate pressure on him by Dries Vanthoor in the WRT Audi.
The pair duked it out for a number of laps, with Spencer Pumpelly also looming large in the background as the trio of crews ran slightly different pit strategies throughout.
However, all three teams pitted on the same lap during the last caution – to recover Johnathan Hoggard’s stranded Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini, which had a gearbox failure at the Western Horseshoe – meaning the three have come back out separated by just five seconds with a four-hour dogfight getting underway.
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