It was another hour in which the drivers settled into the long-running pace. At the end of the tenth hour of the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona it was the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta who led after the front-runners fifteenth round of pit stops.
In dramatic fashion, the #22 ESM came out of the pits on cold tyres, sliding into the barrier on the embankment after contact with the #991 TRG, he’d previously run wide at the international horseshoe. He stopped the car on the back straight, later stepping out of the car.
The hour ended under FCY due the incident.
The rain had stopped, but with the banking now dry and the infield still wet, many of the Prototypes found themselves nursing their machines and notably the tyres on the speedway.
The #10 of Ricky Taylor started the hour in the pits, ensuring that, for the first time after 273 laps, the #22 Tequila Patron ESM led laps of the race. With the gap reduced to 13 seconds after the stop, the ESM was truly a contender for the win.
Sadly for the them, Brendon Hartley struggled to maintain his advantage, dropping back from Ricky Taylor and further into the clutches of the recovering #5 Mustang Sampling Racing. He ended the hour by hitting the wall.
Further back, the #90 VisitFlorida team continued to be best of the rest in third, holding a lap over the #2 ESM of Ryan Dalziel. Van der Zande stayed in the #90 for a triple stint as he continued to hold the gap.
In PC the #38 extended its lead to over five laps. While it would take a lot to shift the Performance Tech Motorsports car from the top spot, both BAR1 machines finally found themselves on the same lap. The #20 found their way back into second, but the position was far from settled.
As for the Starworks Motorsports cars, the #88 re-entered the pits after bodywork was ripped off. While the car was aesthetically damaged, the team continued with minimal solutions.
The GTLM class continued to see the Ford’s leading, as they appeared to have gained a pit stop on their rivals. This proved to be vital, with the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driven by Sebastien Bourdais continuing to stretch his legs out front.
As for GTD, the excitement had finally calmed down, with only five cars on the lead lap. Another round of pit stops saw the #28 driven by Daniel Morad move into the lead before pitting with fifteen minutes left of the hour.
This allowed the #93 with Andy Lally back into the class lead, continuing the strong debut from the Acura. His lead was far from comfortable though as the experienced Christopher Mies continued to close the gap in the #29 Montablast by Land-Motorsports.
Top 3 after 10 Hours
10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta – Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor ,Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon
5 Mustang Sampling Racing – Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi
90 VisitFlorida Racing – Marc Goossens, Renger van der Zande, Rene Rast
38 Performance Tech Motorsports – James French, Patricio OWard, Kyle Masson, Nicholas Boulle
26 BAR1 Motorsports – Tom Papadopoulos, Johnny Mowlem, Adam Merzon, Trent Hindman, David Cheng
20 BAR1 Motorsports – Don Yount, Buddy Rice, Mark Kvamme, Chapman Ducote,Gustavo Yacaman
66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand, Sebastien Bourdais
69 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Tony Kanaan, Andy Priaulx, Harry Tinknell
3 Corvette Racing – Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Mike Rockenfeller
93 Michael Shank Racing – Andy Lally, Katherine Legge, Mark Wilkins, Graham Rahal
29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsports – Connor De Phillippi, Jules Gounon, Jeffrey Schmidt, Christopher Mies
86 Michael Shank Racing – Jeff Segal, Ozz Negri Jr., Tom Dyer, Ryan Hunter-Reay