26th February Daytona 2017 Live: Cadillac, Ford, Porsche Take Victory In Hard-Fought Rolex 24 At Daytona

There was no shortage of excitement in the Daytona 2017 Live Rolex 24 at Daytona. After an eventful 24 hours at Daytona International Speedway, Cadillac, Ford and Porsche emerged victorious from the first round of the 2017 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car Championship in the Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes, respectfully.

However, all three manufacturers had to fight hard for the entire race in order to reach the checkered flag first. A restart with less than one hour remaining backed up Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R, with Ricky Taylor behind the wheel, into Action Express Cadillac’s No. 5 car. The two had less than a second between them, until Taylor forced himself up the inside of the No. 5 going into Turn 1 and they touched. Filipe Albuquerque ended up facing the wrong way in the No. 5, while Taylor stormed off into the lead.

The stewards investigated the incident, but determined no further action was necessary. “They went for it, and I wasn’t going to budge,” Taylor told FOX Sports. “It’s the end of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Cadillac’s debut and we want to be flying the American flag.” Albuquerque recovered to finish P2, with the No. 90 Multimatic/Riley claiming the last spot on the podium.
In the GTLM class, the racing was even closer, with just over 5 seconds seperating the top-five finishers.

The Ford GTs were battling the Ferrari 488s for the lead most of the race, with Porsche and Corvette pressuring them at times. Dirk Mueller in the No. 66 GT was chasing down Chames Calado in the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE in the final hour. Daytona 2017 Live Stream Then, with roughly 30 minutes remaining, he made a move. Mueller sneaked up the inside of the No. 62 into Turn 1, forcing Calado to run wide. Patrick Pilet was close behind in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, and took advantage of Calado’s slow exit to assume second place heading into Turn 3.

Cadillac has a slow, lazy spin on pit exit just after taking the overall lead in the pits, and the #10 moves back ahead. Both trail the #90 VisitFlorida Racing car at the moment, but that may not last long.
The #66 Ford GT is in the lead in GTLM again with Sebastien Bourdais driving and Joey Hand sure to be in for the run to the end. Prototype is a two-horse race and GTD is six cars strong, but even with so many healthy cars still running, that’s the car to beat in the top GT class.

Don’t look now, but the #66 Ford GT that seemed to lead every minute of the race’s first 12 hours in GTLM before the Porsches took control overnight is back to second in-class and should restart directly behind the class leader.
All three cars would hold their position until the checkered flag came out. Michael Christensen in the No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R claimed victory in the GTD class, but by the narrowest of margins. Christensen was dueling with the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Christopher Mies right up until the last lap, crossing the line 0.293 seconds ahead of Mies. Jeroen Bleekemolen grabbed P3 in his No. 33 mercedes-AMG GT3, edging out Lawson Aschenbach’s No. 57 Audi R8 LMS GT3 by 0.270 seconds. Thanks for following Road & Track’s live coverage of the Daytona 2017 Live. The live blog is archived below, while an abridged wrap-up can be found here.(Source)