Felipe Albuquerque leads the Daytona 24 Hours in the Mustang Sampling Racing #5 after eight hours of racing, as United Autosport‘s impressive performance is punctured.
Albuquerque took the lead from Helio Castroneves in the Acura Team Penske #7 at the start of the hour, but Castroneves remained on his tail. Castroneves soon found a way past the Mustang and immediately pulled away, but drama in the pits undid his hard work.
Castroneves overshot his pit box, costing the team vital seconds. After fuel and a new nose, he emerged from the pits P3 but quickly passed Renger van der Zande in the Konica Minolta Cadillac #10, and set about chasing after Albuquerque again.
Van der Zande runs third, despite an unscheduled pit stop dropping him to eighth midway through the hour.
Futher back, Phil Hanson in the United Autosport #23 started the hour fifth, just behind the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing. He was making good progress when the right rear tyre punctured. The 18-year-old set about returning to the pits, but his pace caused more damage to the surrounding bodywork.
He made it back to the pits and Fernando Alonso jumped in as the team replaced the bodywork. He came out P11 and three laps down.
The #31 car ended the hour fourth, ahead of Tequila Patron ESM‘s #2 car and the Jackie Chan DCR JOTA #37.