Hectic finale to 24 Hours of Daytona
By Mat Coch
Monday 1st February, 2021 - 11:02am
Late drama in the 24 Hours of Daytona saw two of three podium places change in the closing minutes.
Wayne Taylor Racing held on for victory with Action Express second and Mazda Motorsports third, the latter two placings changing within five minutes of the chequered flag.
Filipe Albuquerque was at the wheel of the WTR Acura to take the win, having withstood a late challenge from Ganassi Racing’s Renger van der Zande.
That was snuffed out with a late tyre failure, just as a battle for the lead began to develop between the Dutchman and Albuquerque.
The van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen, and Scott Dixon entry fell to fifth in the final standings as a result of the blowout with seven minutes to run in the race.
Second went to the Jimmie Johnson/Kamui Kobayashi/Simon Pagenaud/Mike Rockenfeller Cadillac, crossing the line 4.7 seconds behind the leader.
Late yellow flags had seen the front of the race change hands a number of times in the closing hours.
The pole-sitting DPi Whelen Engineering effort was forced out of contention with gearbox failure early in the piece, ending the race eighth, 24 laps down.
Aussie Scott Andrews was part of the class winning LMP3 entry from Riley Motorsports, driving with Oliver Askew, Spencer Pigot, and Gar Robinson to win by three laps.
In GTD Class, the Kenny Habul/Raffaele Marciello/Luca Stolz/Mikael Grenier Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished second to the Russell ward/Philip Ellis/Indy Dontje/Maro Engel Mercedes.
Australian Aidan Read was sixth in class while Matt Campbell finished 12th, and Briscoe 14th.
Earl Bamber was 10th in class in a Porsche 911 GT3R, eight laps off the class victors.
Other winners included John Farano/Gabriel Aubry/Tim Buret/Matthieu Vaxiviere in LMP2, and the Ferrari quartet of Alessandro Pier Guidi/Jules Gounon/Davide Rigon/James Calado in GTLM.
The start of the GTLM race was marred by a bizarre crash when Bruno Spengler’s BMW Team RLL collided with the rear of Kevin Estre’s Porsche 911 RSR.
It pitched the latter into a spin and skittled the field on approach to the green flag, with Spengler picking up a penalty for the clash that left the Porsche in need of repairs to both ends.
Eventually they recovered to sixth in class, the last of the GTLM runners, one spot (and eight laps) behind the Spengler BMW.