A caution after 8hr20min for the spun CORE autosport LMP3 car compressed an already thrilling battle for DPi honors. Alex Lynn in the #02 Ganassi Cadillac and Kamui Kobayashi in Action Express Racing’s similar Ally Racing car had been dueling for the lead, before Kobayashi handed off to Jose Maria Lopez.
Under caution, the top six DPi cars pitted and they re-emerged in the order of Lynn, Tom Blomqvist in the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05, and Tristan Vautier in the JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac.
Next up was reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou in the second Ganassi car in fourth followed by Lopez, while Pipo Derani had fallen back to sixth as AXR changed the brake rotors on the Whelen Engineering Caddy.
Wayne Taylor Racing delayed its stop in order to get back on the lead lap before pitting, and a brilliant restart and subsequent charge from Ricky Taylor saw him vault from seventh to second before the caution flew just before the ninth hour was complete. He would thus take the next start right behind Lynn and ahead of Blomqvist, Vautier, Palou, Lopez and Derani.
Dylan Murry in the Racing Team Nederland car is leading the LMP2 class ahead of the G-Drive with APR entry of Luca Ghiotto. The #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry is next up ahead of High Class Racing, Tower Motorsports, PR1’s #11 car and the DragonSpeed car, now all on the lead lap.
A four-way battle continues to be the highlight of GTD Pro, with Laurens Vanthoor in the KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 R leading the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 of Daniel Serra, Mathieu Jaminet in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche and Austin Cindric in the #15 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Just after Hour 7 had been completed, two GTD Pro cars took a huge hit when they were assessed a 3min30sec stop and hold penalty for failing to observe wave-by procedure at the previous caution. Those cars were the #97 Proton Mercedes and the #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F, yet they are both now back in contention, currently driven by Daniel Juncadella and Kyle Kirkwood in fifth and sixth respectively.
There’s been major disappointment in the Corvette Racing camp over the past couple of hours, with the #4 car getting struck by another car – as yet unidentified – causing major damage to rear suspension and undertray, while the #3 has just suffered alternator failure and has also been taken back to the garage for a replacement.
GTD is currently led by Scott Andrews in the Gilbert Korthoff Mercedes, chased hard by Jordan Pepper in the gorgeous Inception Racing McLaren 720S.
Some ways back are Simon Mann in the AF Corse Ferrari of Simon Mann, Till Bectholsheimer’s Acura NSX of Gradient Racing and Ian James’ Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage.
Both Winward Racing’s Mercedes and Wright Motorsports Porsche got a stop and hold penalty for running the red light at the end of pitlane.
The seventh caution was triggered after Michael Dinan spun his Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3. The car was taken behind the wall.
LMP3 is led by Sebastien Priaulx in the Sean Creech Motorsport machine ahead of Michael Cooper of Riley Motorsport and Bennett’s recovered (but 1 lap down) CORE car.