Seb Morris took the lead at the end of the second hour of the Daytona 24 Hours, after a mistake by Jeff Gordon on the restart from the race’s second caution.
The hour saw the continued domination of the brand new Cadillac DPi-VRs filling the podium spots throughout.
The two Action Express cars of Joao Barbosa in the #5 Mustang Sampling and Dane Cameron in the#31 Whelen Engineering machines battled for the lead in the opening half hour, before Ricky Taylor in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing machine claimed the lead before a caution 40 minutes in.
The caution came out when Scott Pruett lost control on his brand new Lexus RC F GTD coming out of the first hairpin, was clipped by the #4 Corvette and slammed hard into the wall.
This was a disappointing debut for new car, which was running in the top 10 in GTD and was setting promising times despite Michael Shank Racing insisting that they would be running a conservative race.
The first of the non-DPi cars was Neal Jani’s #13 Rebellion Racing ORECA prototype in fourth, but was over 50 seconds behind the top three, it’s pace decreasing with every stint.
However, during the caution the Swiss team’s car stopped out on track with a possible fuel issue.
All other P2 competitors were a lap down, but the two Tequila Patron cars and the two Mazdas took a later pitstop under caution in order to get back on the lead lap.
However, Tom Long in the #70 Mazda had problems getting away which thwarted its attempt to regain the lead lap.
It rejoined the track as racing resumed but Gordon slamed into him at the International Horseshoe corner, when the 5 time NASCAR locked his brakes.
This dropped the Wayne Taylor car down to third, gifting the lead to Seb Morris in the Whelen Cadillac.
Long recovered but to compound his misery, he was handed a 1 minute stop and go penalty.
No Lead changes in other categories
In GTE Joey Hand in the #66 Ford GT continued to lead the category but was reeled in by James Calado in the #62 Risi Competionizionale Ferrari but held a half second lead coming into the caution.
Jan Magnusson held third place in the first of the Corvettes but the #911 Porsche suffered another puncture 30 minutes in.
This was the car’s third puncture in a hour and a half which driver Patrick Pilet blamed on running a low ride height and low pressures in the tyres.
Patrick Lindsey in the #73 Park Place Porsche overtook reigning GTD champions Cristina Nielson’s Ferrari to take the lead of the category but then lost it to the #29 Audi which currently leads the category.
The #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 disposed of the Ferrari and rounded out the podium.
In the much depleted PC class, the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports of Patricio O’ Ward continued to dominant holding a healthy lead over the two Starworks cars with #88 headed #8.
31 Whelen Engineering Racing – Dane Cameron, Eric Curran, Michael Conway, Seb Morris
5 Mustang Sampling Racing – Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque
10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta – Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor ,Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon
38 Performance Tech Motorsports – James French, Patricio OWard, Kyle Masson, Nicholas Boulle
88 Starworks Motorsports – Scott Mayer, James Dayson, Alex Popow, Sebastian Saavedra
8 Starworks Motorsport – Ben Keating, Robert Wickens, Chris Cumming, John Falb, Remo Ruscitti
66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand, Sebastien Bourdais
62 Risi Competionizionale – James Calado, Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella
3 Corvette Racing – Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport -Connor De Phillippi, Christopher Mies, Jules Gounon, Jeffrey Schmidt
73 Park Place Motorsports – Patrick Lindsey, Jorg Bergmeister, Matthew McMurry, Nobert Siedler
96 Turner Motorsport – Jens Klinsman, Justin Marks, Maxime Martin, Jesse Krohn