Rolex 24, Hour 18: Battle tightening up at the front

As the sun rises over Daytona, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R  and the two Porsche Penske Motorsport 963s are battling hard for the lead of the 2024 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

During the hour, Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Cadillac and Mathieu Jaminet in the No. 6 Porsche were dueling for the race lead, and their battles brought Matt Campbell in the No. 7 Porsche back into the fight.

Jack Aitken has relieved Derani, but due to a delay exiting the pits, he had to overtake Campbell in the No. 7 Porsche to restore his effective race lead.

Just before the top of the hour, the No. 6 Porsche of Jaminet received another 10-second stop-and-hold penalty for a powertrain parameters infringement, their third penalty of the race for this infringement. Gianmaria Bruni runs in fourth aboard the No. 5 Proton Competition Porsche, with six GTP cars still on the overall lead lap.


Similar to GTP, LMP2 has treated fans to fun racing between Era Motorsport’s Connor Zilisch and CrowdStrike by APR’s Malthe Jakobsen, who traded the lead back and forth before making their last pit stops.

The CrowdStrike/APR crew got the No. 04 ORECA 07 out front with Jakobsen now leading Ryan Dalziel in the No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca. Super-sub Pietro Fittipaldi runs third in the No. 52 Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA.

Neil Verhagen is cruising along in the GTD Pro class-leading No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3, he now leads by over 20s ahead of the No. 4 Pratt Miller Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R, driven by Nicky Catsburg. Davide Rigon has got back up to third in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3.

Daniel Morad has just pitted the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the lead in GTD, over 10s ahead of Alessio Rovera in the No. 023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari. Scott Andrews runs third in the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes.

But Turner Motorsport has hit trouble after Robby Foley lost oil pressure, and the blue and yellow No. 96 BMW M4 GT3 stopped in the middle of pit lane and had to be pushed behind the wall – a tough break after Foley was running second in class. The second AWA Corvette, the green No. 17, has recently gone behind the wall to join the No. 13.


Story originally appeared on Racer