Photo: Courtesy of IMSA

2020 Rolex 24 Hour 20 Update: Mazda vs Cadillac

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

DAYTONA — With four hours to go in the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona, it is a battle of the titans in DPi, GTLM and GTD in the season-opening race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Ryan Briscoe currently leads in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, which is remarkable given that Briscoe was a lap down about an hour and a half ago. Briscoe exited the pits when the red light was on at the end of pit lane, requiring the 2012 Indianapolis 500 polesitter to stop in the penalty box for 60 seconds. After falling one lap down, a timely caution allowed Briscoe the chance to make up his lap thanks to the No. 19 GEAR Racing by Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 stopping on course with a fire in the engine bay.

It’s a battle of the manufacturers in DPi. As the race’s final four hours unfold, it’s becoming a fight between the Nos. 5 and 10 Cadillacs and the Nos. 55 and 77 Mazdas.

The LMP2 battle has settled down with the No. 81 Dragonspeed entry holding a 50 second lead over the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports car that led so much at the start of the race. The No. 52 had a lengthy stop to repair some parts but the car is still running.

In GTLM, Porsche and BMW are fighting hard for the lead as the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR-19 currently leads the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE. The BMW has been a fighter over the last few hours after both the Nos. 911 and 912 Porsches dominated up front at the start of the race. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE is fourth in class, 8.9 seconds behind the class-leading 912.

The biggest catastrophe in GTLM is the No. 4 Corvette Racing C8.R. The car spent a very large amount of time in the garage area trying to fix an oil leak, which was eventually fixed. However, the No. 4 entry is mired in 36th place overall, over 100 laps behind the retired No. 19 Lamborghini.

The GTD battle was broken off for one early contender as the No. 9 PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R went behind the wall for a long while with repairs.  The class win is mainly between the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche, the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini, the No. 44 Magnus Racing Lamborghini and the No. 88 WRT Speedstar Audi.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.