Rolex 24, Hour 1: Major players involved in early incidents

Two caution periods and multiple severely damaged cars, including a top GTD PRO contender, have been the signature of the opening hour of the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the first hour ending under yellow. Ricky Taylor leads after the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti crew didn’t give the Acura ARX-06 a full load of energy in order to gain track position when everyone stopped during the first caution.

That yellow came 26 minutes into the race when Misha Goikhberg lost the GTD No. 78 Forte Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 on the entry into the Le Mans Chicane, impacting the tire wall on drivers’ left with the right side of the car. Goikhberg was evaluated and released from the care center. The team is working on the car, but it will require extensive repair.

Caution number two came after multiple incidents following the restart. The first involved three LMP2 cars in the Le Mans Chicane — Steven Thomas in the No. 11 TDS Racing ORECA went inside PJ Hyett in the No. 99 AO Racing ORECA, they made contact and spun, and were joined by Dwight Merriman in the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA, who perhaps spun in avoidance. All three cars continued.


The second incident was more serious, with Dennis Andersen spinning the No. 20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 car in Turn 2, leaving Mike Conway, who had just taken over the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, nowhere to go. The Lexus made heavy contact with the LMP2, damaging the radiator in shades of the car’s exit from Motul Petit Le Mans last October. Conway didn’t make it around to the pits and the Lexus had to be taken back to the garage on a rollback. Conway was evaluated and cleared from the care center.

AWA’s No. 13 Corvette has struck mechanical trouble, first not starting as cars rolled out for the pace laps, then making multiple trips to the pits before Orey Fidani finally took the car to the garage. A fuel pump is one of the suspected issues, but there are others as well, and the car was in the garage as the first hour ended.

Daniel Serra was making a charge to the front of the GTD PRO field in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3, but had a long stop due to an issue with the air jacks and now has 27 cars separating the Ferrari from the front.


Story originally appeared on Racer