2:24 PM, Sunday: The race has been called, and Fernando Alonso and Wayne Taylor Racing have been declared your overall winner. A shame the race was decided by the timing of a caution, but certainly a deserving win for that Cadillac DPi.VR and its other drivers: Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor, and Kamui Kobayashi. The #31 Cadillac, which led until leader Felipe Nasr went off-track in heavy rains, finishes second, while the #7 Acura rounds out the podium.
BMW's #25 M8 wins GTLM, thanks in no small part to the driving of Philipp Eng, Colin Herta, Connor de Philippi, and last-minute addition Augusto Farfus. Ferrari #62 leads Porsche #912 on the podium, with the #67 Ford GT losing its spot on the podium because the red flag was called the lap after it was forced to take an emergency service but before it could serve the related penalty.
Grasser Racing repeats as GTD winner, with their #11 Lamborghini surviving a hotly contested class that saw two leaders spin in the last few minutes of green flag running. Their winning drivers are Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bortolotti, Rik Breukers, and Christian Engelhart.
The #18 DragonSpeed car is the listed winner in LMP2, but since that car wrecked to bring out the final caution that ended the race, it could be reviewed. That car led by four laps over the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry before the collision.
2:09 PM, Red Flag 2: No update yet, but a restart looks more and more unlikely.
1:18 PM, Red Flag 2: If we do resume, it won't be for another forty minutes, at least.
12:56 PM, Red Flag 2: Okay, so we're doing this:
12:37 PM, Red Flag 2: Another red flag has been called. The torrential downpour continues.
12:36 PM, Full Course Caution 18: Make that three of four class lead battles potentially swung by the timing of that caution; The #18 had a four lap lead in LMP2 before that collision, which may well have been hard enough to require serious repairs.
12:32 PM, Full Course Caution 18: The caution is out after the #18 LMP2 car again hits the wall in turn 1. That car's nose is cracked for what is not the first time today, but it is certainly hard to blame anyone for going off in these conditions.
IMSA will be hoping this race can be restarted in the last two hours, because if it does not, both the overall and the GTD battle will have been decided by drivers spinning on their own three laps before this yellow that most of the field has been asking for came out.
12:28 PM: Felipe Nasr goes straight in turn 1! He has to turn himself around, losing about two seconds and the overall lead. Fernando Alonso clear to P1.
The #33, by far the fastest car in GTD, spins and stalls on the back stretch. These are truly treacherous conditions.
12:21 PM: If for some reason you like watching unbelievably talented drivers who have proven themselves champions at every level and category of auto racing lose control under heavy braking in the transition from banking to flat surfaces, you'd love what's happening at turn 1 right now. A rough place for just about everyone on track.
12:16 PM: And one lap later, four cars spin on their own at different times in turn 1. All continue, but this is a tough time to be on track.
12:15 PM: The track is in worse condition than it was on the last restart, but the first lap is clean. Rossi is now just behind the leaders on track, and none of the three will have to deal with GT traffic for at least a few laps.
12:13 PM: Back to green. Nasr and Alonso are together on track.
12:10 PM, Full Course Caution 17: Even with track conditions improving, visibility is absolutely terrible on track right now. The incident that brought out this caution is a harrowing illustration:
12:02 PM, Full Course Caution 17: A big collision for the #63 Scuderia Corse GTD Ferrari. That car is all but destroyed after with a slow-moving #540 Black Swan Racing Porsche at the bus stop, and with that car immobile, IMSA declares yet another full course caution.
12:00 PM: Back to green. Conditions look significantly more reasonable than they did just an hour ago, but the track is far from dry.
11:49 AM, Full Course Caution 16: All three leaders in DPi pit, with Alonso and Wayne Taylor Racing having been forced to surrender their strategy advantage by a tire issue. Fortunately it came up during the safety car and the #7 Penske Acura needed an adjustment that took some extra time, so that car will still be second on the restart.
11:43 AM, Full Course Caution 16: After ten minutes of good, clean, well-run green flag racing, the stewards have spotted some debris (an entire signboard thrown onto the racing line by a GTD Lamborghini that briefly took an off-track excursion) and we are under the safety car yet again. Even when this races is going well it doesn't go well.
11:41 AM: The #10 pits, and Jordan Taylor gives up that seat to Fernando Alonso, who has been absolutely stellar today. That car is now half a stint off-strategy from the #31, which seems to be its nearest rival in pace in these conditions, and the #7.
11:39 AM: GTLM, which has four cars from four manufacturers on its lead lap, has all of its top three together on track. The #911 Porsche was dominant early, but since the rain began it has been an entirely open battle between all four cars.
11:37 AM: Nasr takes the lead on the outside heading onto the banks! Jordan Taylor tries the same into the bus stop but can't make it stick. That's three lead changes in two laps, and the #31 has built just over a second of lead.
11:36 AM: #10 and #31 Cadillacs swap the lead twice in the infield on the restart. Jordan Taylor and Felipe Nasr are in those cars and have a race win in sight.
11:33 AM: Back to green. Your lead lap cars with three hours left:
DPi: 10, 31, 7
GTLM: 62, 912, 25, 67
GTD: 12, 88, 33, 73, 14, 29, 63, 86
11:27 AM, Full Course Caution 15: That run was actually fairly clean and measured, but the #540 Black Swan Racing GTD Porsche has spun once again and could not restart, so we are under a full course caution yet again.
11:23 AM: The #31 Cadillac moves past the #7 Acura for second overall. It may be hard to remember, since so much of the last third of this race has been spent watching cars run under yellow, but the top three in DPi are all still separated by less than ten seconds.
11:20 AM: A much more clean first lap this time, with only three spins and no major between cars. The bars are lower in these conditions.
11:18 AM: Back to green, for some reason.
11:10 AM, Full Course Caution 14: The #54, which suffered significant cosmetic damage when it spun in that last green flag run, has returned to the track after losing just one more additional lap. That car still runs fourth overall.
11:03 AM, Full Course Caution 14: Katherine Legge reports that the #73 Acura NSX, the all-woman-driven GTD entry, took some damage just before the green was thrown for that last run. It is behind the wall and will fall out of contention, an awful twist for a team that was running fourth at the time.
11:00 AM, Full Course Caution 14: That was a questionable restart, and the stint is already at an end. The caution is to recover the beached #50 Porsche and the significant debris from the rear wing housing of the #54 Nissan (which has seemingly just seen its outside chance at a race win disappear), but it will likely again be an extended break to await better conditions.
Driver Joey Hand tells NBC Sports Network that the #66 Ford GT, a GTLM contender that was caught up in some of the earlier kerfuffles on that ten minute run, is in the garage with fairly significant damage.
10:57 AM: The #54 CORE Autosport Nissan DPi, the #540 Black Swan Racing GTD Porsche, and the #44 Magnus Racing GTD Lamborghini are among the most recent spinners on track, and that Lamborghini is fortunate that it didn't wipe out the leading #10 Cadillac it spun in front of. Rough times out there for just about everyone.
10:50 AM: Back to green! The restart goes just about as well as one would expect, with about half the field spinning at different points.
The beneficiary of all this chaos is Jordan Taylor, whose clear track position has afforded him the opportunity to build a fairly comfortable lead already. That #10 Cadillac is in a good position with just over three and a half hours to go.
10:31 AM, Full Course Caution 13: Porsche #912 has spun on the trioval and is struggling to turn around. Hazardous conditionsare making even pace laps difficult for a car that was running in the top five in GTLM.
10:05 AM, Full Course Caution 13: The issue with the #6 Acura stems from the oil pump. At this point in the race, that car is likely eliminated from contention, but it can still finish the race and receive championship points.
10:00 AM, Full Course Caution 13: Ricky Taylor, who was feeling sick during his running under this safety car, makes an unscheduled stop for a driver change. That car gives up the overall race lead, but is still running on the lead lap in third.
The #6, meanwhile, is still behind the wall, and just fell behind the #54 Nissan for fourth overall.
9:53 AM, Full Course Caution 13: The concern for the #6 Acura is much more real than it had initially appeared. That car has now gone behind the wall and will lose multiple laps.
Just three cars, the #7 Acura and the #31 and #10 Cadillacs, remain on the lead lap. Penske Racing has instructed Ricky Taylor to keep his leading Acura over 3500 RPMs at all times in an effort to avoid the yet-undiagnosed issue that is plaguing the sister car.
9:45 AM, Full Course Caution 13: Plenty of steam coming off of the #6 Acura, which is back in the pits with the engine cover and rear wing housing removed. That's the car that already stopped, so this is an unscheduled stop, but the car was running fourth and has the luxury of the time that comes with what projects to be another long caution to solve any potential issues before they arise.
9:31 AM, Full Course Caution 13: The #7 Acura stays out while the rest of the DPi leaders stop. The Penske Acuras have split their strategy with five hours to go.
9:30 AM, Full Course Caution 13: The caution has officially been declared full length, so the pits will finally be opened.
9:25 AM, Full Course Caution 13: This caution period was declared "Short," which seems insignificant when it's gone for twenty full minutes already but is notable form a rule standpoint in that it has kept drivers who have now been officially determined to be in their cars since just before 6 AM at the latest from swapping out and has kept cars off the lead lap, most notably the #54 CORE Autosport Nissan, from regaining a lap on the leaders.
"Short" is certainly a relative term, of course, and this stoppage will have two full hours to go before it has a chance of catching the length of the one that preceded it.
9:18 AM, Full Course Caution 13: The #25 BMW is undergoing repairs to the windshield wiper unit. Not something any team could afford to go without in these conditions, and particularly important for a car still competing for a class win in GTLM.
9:08 AM, Full Course Caution 13: A fairly large incident involving three GTD cars in the trioval will immediately bring the yellow back out. The #46 Lamborghini was stopped on track in the trioval, and in the poor visibility and high traffic the #9 Porsche had no chance of slowing down in time to avoid it. The #48 Lamborghini suffered some damage as well.
9:07 AM: Back to green. Alonso is clear through into the lead in the #10.
9:00 AM, Full Course Caution 12: After two hours of stoppage under the red flag, circulation has resumed. The race will finally go green next time by.
7:26 AM, Red Flag: An official update from series directer Beaux Barfield on the decision to red flag this race:
7:26 AM, Red Flag: A few cars stopped just before the race was said to resume, losing significant track position. The biggest loser in all of this is the #33 Mercedes that had dominated GTD most of the race, but after stopping again instead surrendered the class lead to the #86 Acura.
If the race does not resume, a poor decision by the stewards to first announce a green flag will have cost that team the biggest single-race prize they can win.
7:20 AM, Red Flag: Immediately after deciding not to red flag the race, IMSA has chosen to red flag the race. We'll see you again soon.
Drivers haven't yet been called out of their cars, so all hope is not lost, but the track will likely be lost soon, and a lengthy delay would follow.
7:18 AM, Full Course Caution 11: After over an hour of pace laps and protestations from Wayne Taylor, owner of the overall leading Cadillac DPi.VR that would coincidentally benefit most from a red flag, the race will resume in just one lap.
7:00 AM, Full Course Caution 11:Still under yellow, still not racing. No end in sight to the rain or to this safety car period, but at least the sunrise comes soon.
6:37 AM, Full Course Caution 11: The track is very wet, and this might be a long one.
6:20 AM, Full Course Caution 11: Alex Zanardi is in the #24 BMW for his third stint. That car is sixteen laps down after suffering significant damage during a previous stint.
6:15 AM, Full Course Caution 11: Your leaders on the lead lap as we approach hour 17:
DPi: 10, 6, 7, 31
GTLM: 912, 25, 911, 62, 66, 67
GTD: 88, 63, 33, 86, 48, 14, 29, 540, 57
Retirements: 99, 77, 55, 84.
A rough day for alliterative numbers.
6:10 AM, Full Course Caution 11: This marks the official end of Mazda's once-promising race:
6:03 AM, Full Course Caution 11: That Corvette is unrecoverable under green and immovable under its own power, so the full course caution is out.
6:02 AM: A massive spin into the turn 1 tire barrier for the #4 Corvette, one of the GTE-Pro leaders. That is a high-speed hit for that car, one that will surely worsen its chances of winning in GTLM.
6:00 AM: Good morning, eastern U.S. seaboard! While you slept, the #55 Mazda suffered a "Minor explosion" four full hours before it actually fell out of contention and torrential downpours have changed the entire landscape of the race, with little to no chance of letting up. Just another night at Daytona.
The race broadcast is back on NBC Sports Network.
5:57 AM: The #18 DragonSpeed car is off in NASCAR turn 1, but does not hit the wall this time.
5:55 AM: The #18 DragonSpeed car has gone back into the infield wall, a place with which it is already intimately familiar. That car has plenty of spare bodywork, apparently.
5:50 AM: Action Express #5, many laps down but still running for championship points, is carrying an entire banner and no longer has a rear wing. Probably not great.
CORE's Nissan, previously six laps down, is now just four laps off the pace. If they get enough safety cars and get back onto the lead lap, they will have a real shot at winning.
5:32 AM: Back to green.
5:15 AM, Full Course Caution 10: Fortunately for the rest of the DPi field, the yellow flag came out while all four were on the tail end of the lead lap. The #31's massive lead is gone.
5:12 AM, Full Course Caution 10: A full course yellow has been called to retrieve the bodywork that broke off the #18 in the infield. The race is extremely wet, and drivers will probably appreciate a break from the chaos.
Radio Le Mans has confirmed that the #55 Mazda's major issue earlier in the race was a result of the engine cutting out at speed with a car behind, which left it hit hard by that car.
5:08 AM: With all four DPi leaders now on wet tires, Felipe Nasr and the #31 Cadillac DPi.VR's lead has stabilized at just over a minute and a half.
Ferrari #62 has been the winner from this shift in GTLM, with issues for the #911 dropping it 25 seconds back from the lead it once held. Porsche #912 and BMW #25 run second and third in that class.
5:03 AM:The #18, running second in LMP2, has some severe damage to both the front and rear bodywork. That car has taken a beating today, and this is its worst damage yet.
5:02 AM: It would be hard to exaggerate how wet the track has become in the last ten minutes. Conditions have changed in about as extreme a way as possible, and the #66 Ford GT is the first to suffer after going off hard in the infield. It rejoins, but will likely have suffered some damage.
The #85 Cadillac's issues were a result of a spin out of the bus stop by Rubens Barrichello, per a Radio Le Mans report.
5:00 AM: The #31 switched to wet tires at just the right time, and after this last cycle of stops its lead has grown to nearly a lap. That has taken just fifteen minutes.
4:55 AM: The rain is here, it is coming down hard and is not expected to get any weaker or go away by the end of the race. Welcome to the third and final act of the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona.
The entire field will pit for wets over the next two laps.
4:50 AM: The #85 JDC Miller Cadillac, running fifth overall, goes into the garage with a severe alignment issue. That car was just two laps off the lead lap, but will now have to spend a considerable amount of time being repaired. That car and the #54 Nissan could theoretically still get back on the lead lap, but if they do not, your top four in class are your four contenders for the overall win.
4:44 AM: Yet another lead change on track! Now the #7 Acura leads, thanks to an impressive infield move by Alexander Rossi.
4:34 AM: Rain is almost here, and moisture is already visible on some on-board cameras. This race is about to change drastically.
4:25 AM: Jordan Taylor gives up the overall lead to Felipe Nasr. The #31 Cadillac DPi.VR is the fastest thing on the track at the moment.
4:23 AM: A three-way, three-team, two-manufacturer battle for the overall lead has broken out yet again. These DPi cars seem to be exceptionally well balanced.
4:22 AM: Mazda #55 is still in the garage. Its chances of coming back to win are all but over.
4:18 AM: Back to green. Your class leaders are Cadillac DP #10, DragonSpeed LMP2 #18, GTLM Porsche #911, GTD Porsche #33.
4:03 AM, Full Course Caution 9: The #55 Mazda, which was due to return to the overall lead lap on the next safety car, is stopped in the infield with a missing left-rear quarter panel and a completely bent left-rear corner. That is catastrophic for the #55, and the inability to get the car out will result in a full course caution.
3:51 AM: Well, that's not ideal:
3:34 AM: The #66 Ford GT hasn't had a right-side taillight for a while. Doesn't seem like they're too concerned.
3:23 AM: For some reason, the Penske Acuras are racing hard for third. Maybe they don't realize they're teammates?
If you're wondering, Alexander Rossi and Juan Pablo Montoya are in those cars. Probably makes a little more sense now.
3:13 AM: A battle for second between the two Acuras and the #31 Cadillac sees the #6 Acura maintaining second and the #7 passing the #31 to move into third. This has been a race packed with random spurts of hard racing for position in DPi.
3:08 AM: BMW #24 rejoins while BMW #25 leads, a rarity for a car that has been among the top five all day but has mostly run between third and fifth.
3:00 AM: Another issue for the #24 BMW, the Alex Zanardi car. It was three laps down, and will go down further now that its entire front clip is being replaced.
2: 46 AM: Jordan Taylor and his #10 Cadillac are past both the #55, putting the Mazda back a lap down, and the #6, demoting that Acura to second overall.
The #86, running second in GTD, has been penalized for passing under yellow and will have to serve a penalty.
2:43 AM: Back to green. Because the #7 Acura stopped later in the segment, the #55 Mazda was unable to make a wave-around and will instead start technically back on the lead lap, but will be ahead of the rest of the field on track. Maintaining that track position will be difficult.
The #3 Corvette is behind the wall, implying that their fueling issue goes deeper than simply running out of fuel.
2:41 AM, Full Course Caution 8: Your lead lap contenders after just over half the race:
DPi: 6, 10, 31, 7, 55
LMP2: 18, 81
GTLM: 25, 911, 912, 4, 66, 62
GTD: 86, 63, 8, 29, 88, 9, 11, 96, 48
2:36 AM, Full Course Caution 8: The #55 Mazda, just three seconds away from getting his lap back without a wave-around during that stint anyway, will stay one lap down during this caution after the #7 Acura stays out and denies the rest of the DPi field the opportunity to regain a lap.
2:31 AM, Full Course Caution 8: Corvette #3, the GTLM leader, is slowing on the apron! The car is stopped, run out of fuel, and the safety car is out to recover that entry.
2:30 AM: How far into the race are we, ?
2:13 AM: The #31 and #10 Cadillacs are back into first and second as those cars and the Acuras begin to find themselves on different strategies. The gap from first to fourth overall is just ten seconds.
2:07 AM: A lead change in GTLM as the #3 Corvette again moves past the #911 Porsche. The top seven in that class have been the same for the vast majority of the race, but have traded positions within that group almost every hour.
2:00 AM: It's 2 AM in Daytona and the race is both extremely stagnant and close in every class. This is the perfect time to watch Ryan Eversley and Sean Heckman, hosts of Dinner with Racers, fill time for 24 straight hours in the name of GTD team Magnus Racing. If for some reason that sounds like something that interests you, their show can be found here.
1:51 AM: Race cars: Even when things are going well, they spit out a lot more fire than you think.
1:40 AM: Some Lamborghini-on-Lamborghini violence in GTD, where the #48 of Bryan Sellers makes some with the #11 of Rolf Ineichen. The #48 loses no time, but the #11 spins and loses a sizable chunk of ground in class.
1:29 AM: The #54 returns to the track, five laps down, after gearbox repairs. If that car stays on pace and gets fortunate with safety cars, it could be back on the lead lap by hour 20.
1:24 AM: Unscheduled stop for the #54 Nissan of CORE Autosport. The car, which had been running near the back of the lead lap all race long, is having an electronic issue with the gearbox, so the team will be replacing the control unit.
1:11 AM: The #7 Acura and #31 Cadillac are side-by-side for second. Helio Castroneves comes out ahead in the Acura, but still has yet to catch the #10 Cadillac leading overall.
1:07 AM: The #4 and #3 Corvette, which restarted first and second in GTLM, are now down to third and fifth. The #911 and #912 now run 1-2 in the class, with the #25 BMW in fourth.
12:58 AM: Back to green. The #10 Cadillac, which did not change tires, leads Helio Castroneves and the #7 Acura.
12:41 AM, Full Course Caution 7: The #50 Cadillac DPi appears to have lost an entire wheel in the bus stop. Naturally, that Juncos Racing-run car stops on track, and we have yet another full course caution
12:29 AM: Massive nose damage for the #6 Penske Acura, which went off the track and through the grass. It was missed by the NBCSN cameras, but that car had some sort of issue between the off and its arrival in the pit lane. No matter how it happened, it is repaired quickly with an unscheduled pit stop and a full nose replacement. That car was running second overall, but will now likely fall to nearly a lap down until stops cycle through.
12:20 AM: There are just four cars in LMP2, but you wouldn't know if you were only judging by total shots of cars stalled on track. The #52 PR1 Mathiasen entry, which was previously hit hard by one of the JDC Miller Corvettes, rejoins after spinning into the infield grass.
12:05 AM: Some notable gaps after over an hour of green flag running:
The #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari has a 20 second lead on the #66 Ford GT in GTLM.
The #7 Penske Acura has a 30 second lead on the #10 Cadillac in third overall, the next-highest non-teammate.
The #5 Cadillac DPi, the defending champion of this race, is still fourteen laps down, while the #55 Mazda remains just one lap down.
The #67 Ford GT is two laps behind the GTLM leaders, while the #24 BMW is four laps back.
There are still fourteen cars on the lead lap in GTD.
LMP2 is still happening, I guess; The #18, owner of almost all of the lowlights for that class after twice stopping sideways on the banking of the oval, leads by just under a lap.
12:00 AM: Welcome to day two of the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
11:42 PM: Alex Zanardi returns to the #24 BMW. That car is a few laps down in class after its earlier issues with the steering column.
11:36 PM: Relatively quiet on track but we do have an overall lead change, with the #7 Penske Acura passing... the #6 Penske Acura. Helio Castroneves is now your leading driver.
11:08 PM: The #62 Ferrari has led a few times today, particularly after full course cautions, but it's six second lead in GTLM is notable; Until now, only the #911 Porsche has really been able to build up a significant lead on anyone else in that class.
10:52 PM: Back to green. Penske Acuras remain 1-2, and after a wave-around the #55 Mazda is just one lap behind the leaders as they run.
10:47 PM, Full Course Caution 6: An update on the since-retired #77 Mazda from our own Marshall Pruett:
10:45 PM, Full Course Caution 6: The #10 Cadillac will get a nose change for the overnight hours, slightly delaying it and giving the lead to Dane Cameron in the #6 Acura.
10:39 PM, Full Course Caution 6: As we cross the 1/3rd way mark, we have a safety car for the #47 GTD Lamborghini, now stopped on track in the infield.
Given the wild nature of the first eight hours of the race and the expectation of game-changing rain in the last eight, this middle, overnight segment may be relatively quiet, even by Daytona standards. In all of GTD, GTLM, and DPi, there are still a loose handful of cars running a similar pace on the lead lap and most of them don't have a teammate to work with (or, at least, not one that's also on the lead lap), so it may be wiser to wait for the rain to come at dawn and see how that shakes out than to take risks to gain position and hope to hold it throughout the race.
10:34 PM: The #55 Mazda is still just three laps down and is now putting down laps in the 1:35. 5 range, among the fastest of anyone on track. That car, which suffered a "Minor explosion," is not eliminated from contention just yet.
10:26 PM: The #73 GTD Porsche has lost its left-rear wheel. That's going to be an issue.
10:17 PM: Longtime fans of both Juan Pablo Montoya and Kamui Kobayashi will not be at all surprised by how their first-ever on-track encounter went:
10:01 PM: The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, which seems to have generally gotten better fuel mileage than the Acuras and Mazdas, stops a lap earlier for a driver change to Renger van der Zande, the full-season co-driver of Jordan Taylor in that car, for the sole purpose of avoiding an on-track conflict with Montoya. This is telling of how feared Montoya is in this race, both as an absurdly fast driver and as someone willing to take risks in hour eight of twenty four.
9:57 PM: Wayne Taylor Racing warns Kamui Kobayashi, currently leading by just half a second, that the trailing Juan Pablo Montoya is "A dangerous driver" who "will make ," which may be an unfair characterization of his career but is a fairly accurate analysis of his career record in endurance races at Daytona.
9:49 PM: More significant between the #51 Ferrari and #47 Lamborghini, both GTD entries, has led to a spin for the #47 and a puncture for the #51. Both are able to limp home without further issues.
9:45 PM: Contact between the #66 Ford and #25 BMW in a hotly contested battle for third in GTLM, and, despite the Ford having been hit from behind by a coupe based on a full-sized luxury sedan, neither car seems to have been considerably slowed or damaged. The #62 Ferrari leads the #911 Porsche, but just three seconds behind them are those two, the #4 Corvette, and the #912 Porsche all running together on track.
9:44 PM: Keep an eye on the #54 Nissan DPi, which has one of the top driver lineups in the category despite being the only Nissan and one of the few Pro-Am cars in the field.
9:38 PM: Kamui Kobayashi and his #10 Cadillac are under heavy pressure for the overall lead from the #6 Acura and Juan Pablo Montoya, who led for a significant portion of the first day during his first stint.
9:36 PM: Back to green. Unfortunately, the pole-sitting #77 Mazda is being retired, the first of the DPi contenders to officially throw in the towel.
9:33 PM, Full Course Caution 5: The #77 Mazda is undergoing repairs and may still return to the race. The #55 was repaired fairly quickly and, improbably, runs just three laps down. With IMSA's wave-around system, a quick barrage of safety cars would allow that car to still be in contention even without issues with other cars.
The #77 is already five laps down and was on fire for a significant amount of time, so it is far less likely to be involved in the rest of this race's story.
9:30 PM, Full Course Caution 5: Your cars on the lead lap as they run under this fifth full course yellow:
DPi: 10, 85, 6, 54, 7, 31
LMP2: 81, 18
GTLM: 911, 25, 912, 62, 66, 4
GTD: 88, 51, 96, 8, 63, 540, 29, 71, 73, 11, 33, 14, 86, 57
Only one car, the #99 Porsche, is retired.
9:21 PM, Full Course Caution 5: The #18 and #52 LMP2 cars, the former of which is still leading in class, hit each other at full speed on the backstretch while the Mazdas were exploding in a minor way. The #18 nearly crashed again rejoining, but somehow is still in the lead in that class, which quickly seems to have devolved into LMPC.
9:18 PM, Full Course Caution 5: A catastrophic ten minute stretch for Mazda, as the #77 has caught fire on track and is not put out for over two minutes. The issue for the #55 is diagnosed as a fuel leak, and though that car had what was described as a "minor explosion," that car returns to the race.
Both Mazdas are still alive, officially, and the #55 will have lost just four or five laps, but their very real hopes of a win have all but vanished in just a few minutes.
A full course yellow is out to tow the #77.
9:13 PM: Mazda #55, the one that had previously made with the Acura NSX, has an electrical issue. It stops in the grass to cycle and re-start, but slows again to a stop on track. A potentially major issue for what is one of the race's main contenders.
9:11 PM: The #7 Acura undergoes some minor bodywork repairs during its scheduled stop, fixing the issues caused in its incident 40 minutes ago.
9:10 PM: Now a six second lead for the #911 Porsche, which despite a few missteps seems to be the fastest car in GTLM. Tandy, an overall winner at Le Mans with the 919 program, may be the quickest driver in both that car and the class.
9:00 PM: For American audiences, the race has once again moved back to the NBC Sports Network. It will continue there until 3 AM, when the network goes off air and the race goes back online.
8:47 PM: The #31 Cadillac DPi stops from the lead and is now officially off-cycle. The #10 Cadillac is back in the overall lead.
The #911 Porsche is finally back in front of the #4 Corvette in GTLM, after three full laps of attempting to get past.
8:41 PM: Another lead change in GTLM, as the #911 Porsche gets caught in traffic and both the #4 Corvette and #62 Ferrari are through to first and second, respectively. After all of a half a lap, the #911 is already back to second, and already making a move on the #4 for the race lead, but is unable to make that stick.
8:36 PM: Back to green and the #6 Acura DPi spins into turn 1! That car takes some damage after making with the #77 Mazda. Acura driver Ricky Taylor locked up a wheel, forcing the car into the Mazda, which had also locked up a tire, and spinning Taylor. The damage looks to be only surface-level, but that car drops from fourth to well behind the leaders.
Pipo Derani, who did not pit his #31 Cadillac DPi, leads overall.
8:29 PM, Full Course Caution 4: The #911 was caught off guard by the timing of the yellow and nearly had to stop before the pits were open for emergency fueling, but was able to avoid that fate. That could be a race-saving moment for the GTLM class leader.
8:16 PM, Full Course Caution 4: The #52 PR1 Mathiasen LMP2 car spins in turn 1 and is immediately hit by one of the two JDC Miller Cadillacs, the #84, which slid in sideways and made left-side-to-right-side at somewhere near full corner speed. Looks like major damage for the LMP2 car, which was running second in class, and some moderate damage for the DPi, as well. The LMP2 car is unable to continue, so this will bring out a full course yellow.
8:04 PM: GTD and GTLM now have five different manufacturers in each of their respective top fives. Balance of Performance is a notoriously difficult thing to manage in sports cars, and this race is particularly famous for claims of sandbagging at the Roar pre-race test leading to wild imbalances in every class, so this seems like as good a time as any to commend IMSA on what seems to be an excellently balanced field.
Just don't tell the drivers of the Mazda, Acura, and Cadillac DPis, all three of which have been at different times this weekend accused of being overpowered by competitors.
7:48 PM: A new fast lap for the race on that stint for Kamui Kobayashi, who drops the #10 Cadillac into the 1:34.5 range. Only the #54 CORE-run Nissan, which struggled to match the pace of the other DPs in qualifying but has done well since team owner Jon Bennett ceded the driver's seat to long-time pro Loic Duval, is also in the 1:34s, peaking with a 1:34.8 four laps ago. Every car in the top seven has put down a best lap within a second of Kobayashi's lap.
7:30 PM: Five hours into the race, all three of DPi, GTLM, and GTD now have a different manufacturer in each of their top three positions: Cadillac, Mazda, and Acura in DPi, Ferrari, Ford, and Porsche in GTLM, and Ferrari, Lexus, and Mercedes in GTD.
6:59 PM: Mazda #55, running second, spins in the infield and stalls. That car, being driven by Harry Tincknell, takes nearly 20 seconds to rejoin the track.
The spin was a result of with the #57 Acura NSX GTD entry, which returned to the track undamaged.
6:55 PM: A lead change on track in GTD, as the #33 Mercedes AMG GT3 retakes the position it held on the last restart over the #29 Audi R8 LMS.
6:46 PM: It's a blown left-rear tire for Magnus Racing's #44 Lamborghini Huracan. That team runs an annual in-race live stream, which this year is being hosted by Ryan Eversley and Sean Heckman, of Dinner with Racers fame.
6:44 PM: Back to green as dusk gives way to night. Your top five is Alonso in the #10 Cadillac, Rossi in the #5 Acura, Nunez in the #77 Mazda, Tincknell in the #55 Mazda, and Pagenaud in the #6 Acura.
Fred Makowiecki leads GTLM in the #911 Porsche, while the #33 Mercedes leads GTD. The #52 PR1 Mathiasen entry paces LMP2.
6:31 PM, Full Course Caution 3: The #63 GTD Ferrari is slow on the course with some sort of issue.
The overall leaders all stop for fuel only and rejoin. Alonso will lead Pagenaud on the restart, with other notable drivers Rossi, Duval, and Derani starting fifth, sixth, and ninth. This stint will be one to remember.
6:25 PM, Full Course Caution 3: The #50 has been deemed unrecoverable, so the third full course caution has been called. That car is being described by the driver as "Completely dead".
6:23 PM: The Juncos Racing Cadillac, the #50, spins. That car, which was previously running on the lead lap overall, has been stalled on track for over a lap.
6:22 PM: Spectacular talent on the track right now in DPi, where Fernando Alonso, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, and Pipo Derani all run in the top six, and all of Rossi, Pagenaud, and Derani are within four seconds.
6:14 PM: Rutledge Wood is eating a cheese platter on a web broadcast, if you're wondering how the coverage of today's race is going.
Fernando Alonso's lead in DPi has grown to around ten seconds after the last cycle of stops.
6:07 PM: The DPi leaders are in, meaning that former Indianapolis 500 winner and projected IndyCar championship contender Alexander Rossi is now getting his first stint in the #7 Acura. Tristan Nunez replaces Rene Rast in the #77 Mazda.
5:56 PM: Fernando Alonso takes the lead from Rene Rast. This is the first lead of the day for the #10 Cadillac.
5:54 PM: Alonso clear into second after three laps of pressure and half a lap of side-by-side with the #7. Now about a second behind the leading Mazda.
5:50 PM: Alonso now pressing hard for first, with the top three, all in different cars, covered by half a second. Rast maintains the lead for Mazda, and Castroneves keeps the #7 Acura in second.
5:44 PM: Mazda #77 leads overall, with the #6 Acura now falling down to fourth. Fernando Alonso has brought the #10 Cadillac up to third, its highest outright position today.
5:36 PM: Back to green. No notable beneficiaries of the pit lane procedure under this safety car.
The #24 BMW has returned to the track.
5:34 PM, Full Course Caution 2: The #24 BMW team is repairing the steering column. They will have lost a few laps, but should have no issue when they rejoin the race.
5:18 PM, Full Course Caution 2.: Alex Zanardi's #24 BMW, now being driven by Jesse Krohn, stalls on pit exit, re-starts, and stalls again. That issue brings out a full course caution, the second of the race.
The car rejoins slowly, but the yellow is out and now the full procedure will take place despite no clean-up being necessary.
5:13 PM: You may not have thought about LMP2 all day, but it is in fact a separate class now, and the race for the overall lead, between the #81 and #18 DragonSpeed cars, is within half a second. All four battles are within a second, though the GTLM gap will even out to about five seconds once this particular cycle of stops is complete.
5:09 PM: That Cadillac is now going behind the wall for a more significant repair. That could end the defending race winner's shot at contention.
5:05 PM: The #5 Cadillac spins on its own in the infield avoiding a GTD car. That car was running in the top five overall, but will lose some time as it undergoes some examination in the pits. The car has not been taken behind the wall, but the crew has removed the engine cover.
4:56 PM: With the #11 Lamborghini now having pitted and lost its advantage, the battle for the GTD lead is on track between the #12 Lexus and the #33 Mercedes. Townsend Bell, the former IndyCar driver and current NBC analyst, is leading, but struggling to pull away from talented amateur Ben Keating in the Mercedes.
4:55 PM: If you're watching in the U.S., prepare to turn to the NBC Sports app or web viewer. The next few hours of the broadcast will be streaming-only.
4:31 PM: Back to green and the #6 Acura, now being driven by Dane Cameron, retains the overall lead.
The big winner of that safety car period was the #11 GTD Lamborghini, which got lucky with the timing of everyone else's stops and was able to gain an entire lap when the rest of the field stopped. That gap will probably not last.
4:29 PM, Full Course Caution 1: A catastrophe for Corvette Racing, whose two GTLM entries run into each other in the pits. The #3 got the worst of it and lost a lap undergoing repairs under that safety car, while the #4 escaped with minimal harm.
4:25 PM, Full Course Caution 1: Your cars on the lead lap in class after stops under this safety car period:
DPi: 6, 31, 77, 7, 55, 85, 84, 50, 10
LMP2: 81, 38, 18, 52
GTLM: 66, 911, 4, 62, 25, 24
GTD: 11 (one lap advantage due to pit stop timing), 33, 29, 12, 86, 88, 8, 63, 73, 51, 44, 96, 19, 14, 71, 57
There are no official retirees yet, but the #99 Porsche that has had three issues today should be the first.
4:21 PM, Full Course Caution 1: A similar issue for the #9 Pfaff Porsche, which also requires an emergency service. That GTD car is easy to spot, wrapped entirely in a red plaid.
4:19 PM, Full Course Caution 1: The #86 Michael Shank Racing Acura, the GTD leader, was caught off guard by the timing of the caution and needed an emergency stop to make the open pits a lap later. That car will lose almost all of its track position.
Fernando Alonso is hopping into the #10 Cadillac for the first time today. This is his second Rolex 24, but his first in a car in contention for the overall win.
4:12 PM, Full Course Caution 1: The #99 Porsche, already victim to two early issues, appears to have blown up an entire engine. That car is sputtering oil all over the track, resulting in a spin for the class-leading (due to pit cycle timing) #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari in GTLM and smaller offs for about five other cars entering turn 1. That corner has become a bit of a disaster, so this will bring out the race's first full-course yellow.
4:09 PM: The #25 BMW ate the remnants of the #54 Nissan's flat tire. That GTLM entrant took a quick trip to the garage to remove the rubber fortunately well within its pit window anyway, and now returns to track without issue.
4:05 PM: The #54 Nissan, making its debut for CORE Autosport after two years of being run by Extreme Speed Motorsports, is slowing on the apron with what looks to be a flat right-rear tire. That car, a rare pro-am entry in what is generally an all-pro class, has been running last in class, but that could change quickly now that one of the pro drivers is in the car.
Not too quickly, though; Just one lap later, the #54 Nissan comes to the pit lane to serve a penalty incurred on the previous stop.
4:03 PM: Montoya is back into the lead after what can only be described as an absurdly risky three-wide pass that saw the Mazda of Jarvis going onto the apron alongside the banking to avoid a GTD car and the Acura of Montoya pass both around the outside.
3:58 PM: An overall lead change as the #77 Mazda is back past the #6 Acura. Oliver Jarvis and Juan Pablo Montoya are still in those cars.
3:53 PM: Alex Zanardi climbs into the #24 BMW, and, after an extensive issue with his first driver-specific steering wheel, the crew gives him a second wheel and he's able to go out on track without issue.
3:48 PM: The #99 Porsche, a GTD entry, is stuck in a tire wall in the infield. This is the same car that had already been behind the wall for a significant repair.
That car is able to start itself and get back onto the track, so there won't be a full course yellow for the incident.
3:46 PM: The #31 and #5 Action Express Cadillacs come in to end the second cycle of stops for the DPi leaders. Those cars return in third and fourth, with the #6 Acura still leading the #77 Mazda.
3:41 PM: The #7 Acura makes its second stop a little early in an effort to fix a nagging vibration. The #5 Cadillac comes at the same time in the hopes of avoiding a puncture for a left-rear tire losing air pressure. Jordan Taylor stays in the #10, while his brother (but no longer teammate) Ricky Taylor cedes his seat in the #7 to Helio Castroneves.
3:37 PM: Ricky Taylor, driving the #7 Acura, had to lift for just a second to avoid a car in traffic. That quick blip took the #7 from second in overall to sixth.
The whole ordeal has also allowed Montoya to build a bit of a lead, with that #6 Acura now four seconds ahead of the #77 Mazda.
3:34 PM: The Cadillacs have suddenly come to life, and the result is that the top six in DPi are covered by just two seconds. The top three are running in an unchanged order, but the #5 and #31 Cadillacs have moved into fourth and fifth, past the #55 Mazda.
The #67 Ford GT, which just returned from what turned out to be a relatively quick trip behind the wall, has spun on its own in the infield. It takes no damage.
3:25 PM: The #67 Ford GT, having already made its stop, returns to the pit lane and immediately pulls into the garage. They have something major that needs to be solved.
After stops in LMP2, the #18 DragonSpeed car is your new leader. That entire class is within fourteen seconds.
3:21 PM: Stops begin for the GTLM and GTD leaders. The #911 Porsche cycles back into the lead in GTLM, while the #86 Acura NSX of Michael Shank Racing will take the lead over the #33 Mercedes in GTD.
3:18 PM: The #912 Porsche has stopped again, still unscheduled, for another bodywork repair. In a class as close and competitive as GTLM, these minor issues are often how 24 hour races are lost.
3:11 PM: The #7 Acura is now through to second overall, meaning that the two Acuras now lead the two Mazdas. Felipe Nasr has the Whelen-backed Action Express #31 Cadillac in fifth.
Later in the race it may become important to note that the last three cars to stop in DPi were all Cadillacs. They are clearly not quite up to the pace of the Acuras and Mazdas, but if they can cut multiple stops out of the race, that may not be an issue at all.
3:08 PM: We have an overall lead change! The #77 Mazda leaves the pit lane first, but just half a lap later Juan Pablo Montoya moves the #6 Acura into the top overall spot.
3:04 PM: Stops have begun in DPi. The leading #77 Mazda will be in on the next lap, and when it comes in it will do so with a two second lead on the pair of Penske Acuras.
3:02 PM: An unscheduled stop for the #912 Porsche, previously running third in GTLM. That car gets a minor bodywork repair and rejoins last in class, promoting the #67 Ford GT to third. There are now four different manufacturers in the top four spots in that class.
3:00 PM: Another lead swap in GTD, where the #13 Ferrari is back in front of the #33 Mercedes. Those cars have five full seconds on third in class.
2:53 PM, Saturday: The #6 Acura was within attacking distance of the race leader, less than a tenth of a second, for all of one lap, but just as Montoya was getting ideas on passing Oliver Jarvis in the #77 Mazda, the leader began to pull away. That gap is now back up to about a second.
The #18 LMP2 entry has a tire rub and will have to pit for minor repairs.
2:52 PM, Saturday: The #99 NGT Porsche, a GTD entry, is the first car to enter the garage. The car is described by the driver as "Undriveable," which would certainly qualify as a bad thing.
2:45 PM, Saturday: The #3 Corvette is through to first in GTLM, but only a second separates it from the top two Porsches. That position is likely to change hand a dozen or more times in the first quarter of the race.
2:38 PM, Saturday: The #50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi, making its IMSA top class debut for the IndyCar team, was forced to start from the pit lane after fixing a throttle registration issue. That car would have started from seventh had it not been forced to address the issue.
2:35 PM, Saturday: The race is green and the pole-sitting Mazda immediately pulls into the lead. Behind it, the #6 Acura has immediately moved past the #5 for second in class. It should come as a surprise to few that have followed this race over the past two decades that Juan Pablo Montoya is not being patient.
Pole sitters retain their leads in three of four classes, but in GTD the #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 leads lap one over the pole-sitting Via Italia Ferrari.
2:30 PM, Saturday: With his signature "Hi to my family at home" shoehorned in, many, many time Daytona winner Scott Pruett has signaled the start of the pace laps. We'll get going in just a few minutes. Here's what you'll see:
2019 marks the third season of IMSA's top DPi class, and, though no major players have joined in the past year, it figures to be the most competitive yet.
Cadillac's DPi.VR has been the pace-setter at Daytona over both of the past two years, but second year improvements for Penske Racing's Acura HPD entries and the changes made by legendary Le Mans winners Joest are finally paying dividends for Mazda. Eleven cars are running in the race's top category, and, while CORE Autosport's lone Nissan did not put down a competitive time in qualifying, each should have a legitimate chance at the overall win.
in LMP2, the recent uncoupling from DPi has allowed a smaller field to be less concerned about their prospects at an overall win (as even the pole-sitting car in class is two seconds off the record setting pace in the factory-aided top class). Four cars are entered in the class that has evolved into a true secondary prototype category.
GTLM is as it has always been, nine truly professional cars representing five manufacturers separated by less than a second. Though Ford, Corvette, Porsche, and (through Risi Competizione) Ferrari are all entered as well, much of the attention on this class will focus on the #8 BMW, which features one-off appearances from both V8 Supercars ace Chaz Mostert and genuine superhero Alex Zanardi. This is the most consistently competitive category of professional racing on earth, and this is among their biggest and best races. Enjoy it.
GTD, the pro-am GT3-based category, has 23 entries from nine manufacturers. Each should have a real shot to win. If you like to watch elite performance cars go fast, you'll find this class to be a good time.
Full qualifying results.