Halfway through the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Max Angelelli leads in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi on at a wet Daytona International Speedway. The marque has led all but nine of the 359 laps with the No. 22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi giving the best fight until an 11th-hour incident caused by cold tires and low grip. Almost all Prototype entries had issues, but the No. 10 team have managed disaster better than their competitors.
Until the incident with the No. 22 Nissan, there were two cars on the lead lap. Both Action Express Cadillacs have seen either contact on track or mechanical issues. The No. 13 Rebellion Oreca also had mechanical issues that forced the car to return to the paddock. The Mazda prototypes struggled with speed through the race and weekend, but the No. 70 experienced clutch issues that put it farther behind.
Each of the five LMPC entries have had issues from either on-track incidents or mechanical issues. The No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry has run the cleanest race, however, and leads the class by five laps from the effort. The two Bar1 Motorsports entries run second and third with Buddy Rice and Trent Hindman behind the wheel, respectively. At the halfway point, all cars were running despite only one car on the lead lap in class.
In GT Le Mans, the slow and steady progress of the Porsche team has paid off with Kevin Estre leading in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR ahead of the sister No. 911 with Patrick Pilet at the wheel. The Ford GTs took command of the GTLM field early on until the rains came, giving the edge to the mid-engine Porsches – performance that’s not too unfamiliar for the marque. The class has been very competitive through the race with six cars on the lead lap.
Another late bloomer has been the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing NSX GT3 with Jeff Segal leading at the halfway mark. This highly competitive class has had an upwards of 10 cars on the lead lap for most of the firs half of the race. The Montoplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 was scored second at halfway with the No. 33 Riley Motorsports AMG GT3 completing the midway podium.
Eight full course yellows were called during the first half of the race ranging from single car spins to a scare moment with the Nos. 8 LMPC machine and 70 Porsche 911 who made contact in the bus stop and coming to a hard stop against the infield wall.
Each of the halfway leaders were assigned points for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. The first set of points were awarded at six hours to the No. 5 Cadillac, No. 38 LMPC, No. 911 Porsche, and No. 50 WeatherTech Racing AMG GT3.