The Rolex 24 At Daytona has entered its night phase, and the drivers face another 12 hours of darkness before they might see the sun again. The fifth hour ended with a restart after an extended yellow for the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier stopped on track, Tom Blomqvist leading the field to the green as he drove his first race stint in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac Racing V-Series.R.
Unfortunately, the caution flew again almost immediately. Jordan Taylor, trying to catch the field after leaving the pits in the No. 40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06, had contact with the GTD No. 023 Triarsi Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 in the Le Mans chicane, Onofrio Triarsi at the wheel. The Ferrari had to pit for new rear bodywork, the debris left behind in the collision the reason for the yellow.
The No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 was assessed a drive-through penalty for “failure to adhere to controlled powertrain parameters,” likely meaning the car exceeded the 500kW power limit. It’s the first such penalty applied for the infraction since the advent of this GTP class, although warnings have been issued before.
The No. 40 had experienced a power steering failure that sent it down a lap, but recovered back to the lead lap with the cautions.
The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720 S GT3 Evo has returned to the track after the wheel bearing repair, but James Hinchcliffe is 21 laps down to the GTD PRO leader, Laurin Heinrich in the No. 77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. The AO Porsche, though, is third among the GTDs, with Roman De Angelis in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo leading the GTs overall, followed by fellow GTD competitor Russell Ward in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3.
The LMP2 No. 88 AF Corse ORECA 07, which went behind the wall to diagnose a loss of power, never re-emerged and has been officially retired, bringing the number of retirements to two.
Class leaders after five hours:
GTP: Tom Blomqvist, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac Racing V-Series.R
LMP2: Ben Hanley, No. 2 United Autosports ORECA 07
GTD PRO: Laurin Heinrich, No. 77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R
GTD: Roman De Angelis, No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo