Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates continue to lead the Daytona 24 hours, Scott Pruett continuing where Juan Pablo Montoya left off.
Pruett had built a lead of over 15 seconds, however his big lead has been diminished after Kevin Estre crashed his Porsche, bringing out another caution.
The battle for the lead early on the hour kept the fans thrilled in Florida as Montoya piled huge pressure on Starworks Motorsport driver Ryan Dalziel for the lead, the Columbian rubbing panels with his rival as he tried to recover from a slow restart that dropped him to third.
Dalziel defended his place grimly, but Montoya’s overtaking prowess finally shone through when he made the move around the outside of the Scot under braking for turn one to snatch back the lead for the #01 Ganassi BMW-Riley squad.
Montoya extended his cushion to eight seconds by the time he reached his next routine stop, Pruett taking control of the car which regained a healthy lead ahead of the battling #2 Starworks car and VelocityWW’s Max Angelelli when stops cycled through.
Alex Popow then dropped behind Angelleli and a charging Scott Dixon, the second Ganassi car moving back into the top three, while the two Action Express cars ran in tandem 12 seconds further back after former British F3 champion Felipe Nasr briefly lead through the pit stop phase.
Having clawed back two of its seven lost laps, Michael Shank Racing’s #6 car suffered a stop-and-hold penalty for overtaking under yellow flags, team boss Shank showing his displeasure at a punishment he dubbed “ridiculous”.
The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette had more serious issues as mechanical dramas lead to a lengthy period in the pits after Jon Fogarty had just moved up to fourth at the time.
Filipe Albuquerque went into the hour leading the GT class, but a slow stop for the #24 Alex Job Racing Audi R8 handed the lead to fellow Audi driver Rene Rast before the German then pitted himself.
Ferrari challenge star Alessandro Balzan continued to be quick in the #63 Scuderia Corsa 458, and when Andy Lally handed his Magnus Racing Porsche over to John Potter, the Italian closed the gap and passed the Porsche for second, 20 seconds off the leader.
GX continued to see the #16 Napleton Racing Porsche lead from the similar Caymans of BGB Motorsports and Bullet Racing.
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona Prototype standings after 8 hours
1 – #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley
2 – #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP
3 – #02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW-Riley
4 – #2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford Riley
5 – #9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT standings after 8 hours
1 – #24 Alex Job Racing Audi
2 – #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari
3 – #44 Magnus Racing Porsche#69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari Ferrari
4 – #30 MOMO/NGT Porsche
5 – #52 Audi Sport Customer Racing/APR Motorsport Audi
2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona GX standings after 8 hours
1 – #16 Napleton Racing Porsche
2 – #38 BGB Motorsports Porsche
3 – #22 Bullet Racing Porsche