Daytona 24H, H3: Dixon Guides Cadillac to 1-2, While Porsche Pursues

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

Sebastien Bourdais, driving the #01 Ganassi Cadillac, took the lead at the commencement of the second hour by smoothly overtaking Ricky Taylor, the initial-hour frontrunner in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura, into Turn 1.

However, the Acura, hampered by its brief energy fill and the decision to double-stint on tires, subsequently fell back.

The #6 Penske Porsche 963, piloted by Tandy, made an impressive charge from the back of the GTP field to fourth but relinquished that position to Richard Westbrook in the customer JDC-Miller Motorsports 963.

Daytona 24H
Daytona 24H (Credits: Motorsport)

Westbrook then moved past pole-sitter Pipo Derani (Action Express Caddy) for third, but a collision with Gar Robinson’s LMP2-class #74 Riley ORECA occurred as they navigated Turn 1 three-wide.

During the second round of pit stops, with Scott Dixon taking over from Bourdais and Dane Cameron replacing Nasr, a battle for the top spot unfolded.

However, the proceedings were temporarily halted at the end of the second hour due to a heavy crash by Steven Thomas in the #11 TDS Racing LMP2 entry at the exit of the Bus Stop chicane.

Following the restart, Louis Deletraz led in the #40 WTRA Acura, employing a strategic pit strategy to run on approximately 25% less energy than the pursuing cars. Dixon, Jack Aitken (substituting for Derani), and Cameron trailed behind.

Deletraz eventually had to pit, relinquishing the lead to Dixon, who held a 3-second advantage over Aitken. The Penske Porsches secured the third and fourth positions after three hours, with Gianmaria Bruni in the Proton-run customer 963 in fifth and the first of the BMWs driven by Nick Yelloly in sixth.

In the LMP2 category, United Autosports took the lead as George Kurtz (#04 Crowdstrike by APR) fell back, with Nico Pino (#2 United Autosports) and substitute driver Pietro Fittipaldi (#52 Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen) surging ahead during the second hour.

Pato O’Ward (substituting for Pino) reclaimed the lead in the #2, outpacing Jakub Smiechowski (substituting for Fittipaldi) at the start of the third hour. O’Ward maintained the lead, with Toby Sowery (substituting for Kurtz) and Smiechowski following after three hours of intense competition.

In the GTD field, Andrea Caldarelli (Iron Lynx Lamborghini) overtook the #12 pro-am entry of Aaron Telitz in hour two to assume the lead. However, Marvin Kirchoffer, driving the Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S, emerged as the frontrunner in the third hour, leading Parker Thompson (substituting for Telitz) in the Lexus.

Alexander Sims (Corvette) and Davide Rigon (Risi Ferrari 296) engaged in a battle for third throughout this stint. As the third hour concluded, the GTD class was in the midst of a pit stop cycle, with Sims technically leading, followed by his Corvette teammate Nicky Catsburg.

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