IndyCar champions Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais waged a terrific battle during the closing minutes of Hour 5 of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, advantage Bourdais in the No. 5 Mustng Sampling Cadillac until he peeled off into the pits in the closing seconds of the segment.
Dixon, in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi.V-R, was left well clear of Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac and third-placed Helio Castroneves in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05.
Dixon’s teammate – F1 veteran and IMSA newcomer Kevin Magnussen – was pleased with his earlier stint in the Ganassi Cadillac:
“It was nice to get my first taste of endurance racing,” Magnussen said. “Awesome, very good fun. Driving here is really cool. We’re in a good position, and the car is doing really well.”
Magnussen has been getting long-range coaching from his father, 2015 Rolex 24 GTLM winner (among the many accolades earned for Corvette) Jan Magnussen.
“He’s been giving me a lot of advice leading up to this race,” Magnussen said, “sending me e-mails and calling me on the phone. It’s been great. He’s done this many times…”
Also in the fight is 2017 Rolex 24 winner Ricky Taylor, who has returned to his father’s team now campaigning the No. 10 Acura.
“It’s nice to be back on the family team with Konica Minolta and with Acura,” Taylor said. “It was a real fast start to the race this year. Everybody is giving it everything, which is what we all want – we’re all racers. Our Acura has quite a bit of pace.
“We skipped all the off-season testing up until the Roar Before the 24 just to make sure everything was perfect. Wayne Taylor Racing has a lot of experience here at Daytona. It’s all the little details they do during the off season that pay off. As long as us drivers do our jobs properly, we’ll be there at the end with a real good Acura to fight for the win.”
Nicolas Lapierre was leading LMP2 after five hours in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07-Gibson, although he took the car behind the wall moments later. That gave the lead to Matt Bell in the No. 11 WIN Autosport ORECA, followed by Gabriel Aubrey in the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA.
Scott Andrews led LMP3 in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320, followed by Yann Clairay in the No.33 Sean Creech Motorspors Ligier and Colin Braun in the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier.
Corvette Racing continues to run 1-2 in GTLM, with Alexander Sims (No. 4) leading Nicky Catsburg (No. 3) and the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE of Connor De Phillippi.
Andrew Caldarelli worked his way to the GTD lead in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan, followed by Klaus Bachler in the No. 16 Wright Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R and Matteo Cressoni in the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488.
The hour ran caution free. After a flurry of yellows in the early going, it’s been all green for the past 3h14m.