The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley continued to set the standard during the twentieth hour of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the hands of Memo Rojas, who now leads by just over three seconds.
The hour began with the race under safety car conditions after a tyre failure for the #30 MOMO/NGT Motorsport Porsche driven by Kuba Giermaziak.
Within a few minutes the green flags waved and Rojas was immediately under pressure for the lead from second placed Jordan Taylor driving the #10 VelocityWW Corvette. However Taylor was unable to make a genuine attempt to overtake but instead shadowed Rojas’ every move for the next few laps.
Meanwhile there was drama at the head of the GT Class as an error under braking in to turn one by Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458, who was running second saw him hit the back of class leader Mark Wilkins in the #69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari team’s Ferrari 458. As the two cars ran off the circuit Nicolas Armindo moved into the lead of the category in the Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup just ahead of Oliver Jarvis in the #24 Audi Sport Customer Racing machine. Things were to get worse for Pier Guidi as he was given a stop and go penalty for avoidable contact dropping him off the same lap as Armindo and Jarvis.
Half way through the hour the closest battle in the Daytona Prototype category was for fifth place between Sebastien Bourdais in the #2 Starworks Motorsport Ford-Riley and Ricky Taylor in the #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette. The two changed positions several times but as the latest rounds of pit stops neared it was Bourdais who had managed to edge ahead.
With fifteen minutes of the hour remaining the top two pitted on the same lap with Rojas able to just maintain position ahead Ryan Hunter-Reay who relieved Taylor of the driving duties before Rojas began to pull clear.
Justin Wilson at the wheel of the #60 Michael Shank Racing Riley Ford moved ahead of Burt Frisselle’s Action Express Racing Corvette to sit in third position.
Ricky Taylor was promoted to fifth position as Bourdais had an unscheduled trip across the grass and in the process not only fell to sixth position but also dropped off the lead lap.
In the final moments of the hour Edoardo Mortara who had replaced Jarvis behind the wheel of the #24 Audi had a huge spin at turn one whilst attempting to reclaim second position in class from Wilkins after the pit stops. He kept the car out of the tyre barriers and resumed in third position in the category.
In the GX class Nelson Canache continues to lead in the #16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman; five laps ahead of his nearest rival.
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona Prototype standings after 20 hours
1 – #01 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates BMW Riley
2 – #10 VelocityWW Corvette DP
3 – #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley
4 – #9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
5 – #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing – Corvette DP
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT standings after 20 hours
1 – #44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup
2 – #69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari – Ferrari 458
3 – #24 Audi Sport Customer Racing/AJR Audi R8 GRAND-AM
4 – #23 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup
5 – Audi Sport Customer Racing/APR Motorsport Ltd.UK – Audi R8 GRAND-AM
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GX standings after 20 hours
1 – #16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman
2 –#22 Bullet Racing Porsche Cayman GX.R
3 – #38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman GX.R