The 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona began with high profile teams in trouble during the opening hour.
At the drop of the green flag Scott Dixon turned his pole position into an early lead, though Scott Dixon in the other Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates fell from second back to fourth behind Dane Cameron and Michael Valiante. That, however, was not to last, Dixon driving back up to second within the fast 35 minutes of the race
Fifth in the early running, having qualified sixth fastest was A.J. Allmendinger, however, the defending race winner would fall eight laps off the lead after a slow lap and a visit to the pits for a broken steering arm on the Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley.
Also in trouble from the Daytona Prototype class early on was Stephane Sarrazin, the 8 Star Motorsports Corvette DP trailing smoke within 20 minutes of the green flag. As the hour came to an end the #3 car was still in the pits Enzo Potolicchio’s team changing the gearbox on their new car.
The troubles were not confined to the Daytona Prototypes.
Like Pruett at the head of the race Nick Tandy turned pole position into a lead in the GT class. However, his tenure of the lead would come to a spectacular end, the Englishman bringing the Konrad Motorsport/Orbit car back to the bits with very heavy damage to the right hand side of the Porsche caused when he was tipped sideways into the tyres at turn six. He returned to the track five laps down, Andy Lally assuming the lead for 2012 Rolex 24 winners Magnus Racing.
Also in trouble from the GT class was the #61 Ferrari started by 2012 class champion Jeff Segal and Patrick Long in the Park Place Motorsports Porsche that briefly occupied second place in class following Tandy’s off.
The closing quarter of the hour saw the first round of pitstops completed, the overall lead of the race passing through the hands of Michael Valiante, Ryan Dalziel, Colin Braun and Brendon Hartley before Pruett returned to the front of the race for the end of the first 60 minutes of racing.
The race – thus far – has run caution free, despite the #00 GX Class Mazda 6 stopping on the apron at turn three of the Daytona tri-oval, the car recovered under local yellow flags.
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona Prototype standings after 1 hour
1 – #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley
2 – #02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley
3 – #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley
4 – #42 Team Sahlen BMW-Riley
5 – #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT standings after 1 hour
1 – #44 Magnus Racing Porsche
2 – #24 Alex Job Racing Audi
3 – #69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari Ferrari
4 – #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari
5 – #66 TRG Porsche
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GX standings after 1 hour
1 – #16 Napleton Racing Porsche
2 – #38 BGB Motorsports Porsche
3 – #25 Freedom Autosport/Speedsource Mazda