Chaos Arises as Final Four Hours Begin

No. 55 Mazda DPi catches fire in pits during 2017 Rolex 24
Photo: Mazda Racing (Twitter)

A pair of separate issues early in the 21st hour at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona have brought the full-course yellow back out.

The No. 8 Prototype Challenge entry of Starworks Motorsport spun after exiting Turn 1 just four minutes after Hour 21 began, initiating the race’s 16th caution period.

Right after the yellow was thrown, the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P was brought into the pits by Spencer Pigot. As it neared its pit box, the Soul Red-colored DPi car caught fire as flames erupted and smoke billowed out of the back of the machine.

The spin for the PC car and the Mazda fire, as separate incidents, brought a bout of exciting on-track action to an end as the field readied for a four-hour battle to the checkers.

With the caution period ongoing, Jordan Taylor leads at the controls of Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R. Christian Fittipaldi runs second in Action Express Racing’s similar No. 5 Cadillac with Visit Florida Racing running third with Rene Rast driving its new Gibson-powered Riley Mk. 30.

Pipo Derani has taken over in Tequila Patron ESM’s No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi and runs fourth ahead of Nicolas Lapierre in the No. 81 DragonSpeed ORECA 07.

Performance Tech Have Checkers in Sight

Performance Tech Motorsports have put on a dominant performance in the PC class throughout the first 20 hours at the Rolex 24.

James French leads with less than four hours on the clock, running well ahead of Johnny Mowlem in BAR1 Motorsports’ No. 26 car.

The class continues to have major implications on the story of the race, with Trent Hindman being the latest driver to bring out a full-course caution in the aforementioned single-car incident for the No. 8 car.

Hand Back in GTLM Lead

The pole-sitting No. 66 Ford GT leads in GT Le Mans with Joey Hand, the driver who put it on the class pole, in the cockpit.

Hand’s lead over James Calado in Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 488 GTE is roughly one second. Antonio Garcia, Harry Tincknell, Dirk Werner and Billy Johnson remain within four seconds of Hand in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, No. 69 Ford GT, No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR and No. 68 Ford GT, respectively.

Farnbacher Reaches GTD Lead

After Robin Liddell led the class in Stevenson Motorsports’ No. 57 Audi R8 LMS GT3, Riley Motorsports has reached the GT Daytona lead with Mario Farnbacher in its No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Sam Bird holds second in Scuderia Corsa’s No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 with Tom Dyer chasing from half a second behind in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 of Michael Shank Racing.

Christopher Mies completes the top five in the class in Montaplast by Land-Motorsport’s No. 29 Audi.

FOX Sports 2 will continue to show live coverage of the race until 1 p.m. EST, at which point FOX Sports 1 will take over.