Less than six seconds separates Acura Team Penske, Mustang Sampling Racing and Whelan Engineering Racing in the top three after 12 hours of the Daytona 24 Hours.
The #6 car of Simon Pagenaud, Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya inherited the lead just before the half-way point after Graham Rahal in Penske’s #7 car span on his own entering Turn 1.
Mike Conway and the Whelan Engineering team was running in first after six hours, but dropped down due to a right rear tyre puncture after nine hours. However the #31 car was able to use the second full course caution to help get up to the front again after 12 hours.
The #5 Mustang Sampling Racing team was second in between the leaders and Whelan Engineering Racing having led the race at multiple stages during the last 12 hours themselves.
The top five was rounded off by the #22 Tequila Patron ESM car, although they aren’t on the lead lap.
The #23 United Autosports car of Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris and Phil Hanson went 28 laps down after the team had to bring the car into the garage to fix an issue with a brake problem.
The #90 Spirit of Daytona team became the first to officially retire from the race after a mechanical issue arose that wasn’t able to be fixed.
The battle in the GTD class took a different turn after the leading #29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team was given a five-minute stop-and-go penalty for a violation of the balance of performance regulation, which the team said was due to the fuel flow rate.
This dropped the team a couple of laps down on the lead cars in the class, with Michael Shank Racing’s #86 car leading the class at the 12-hour mark ahead of GRT Grasser Racing Team.
Just like after six hours, the GTLM class saw the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s #66 and #67 cars in first and second respectively. Behind them were both of the Corvette Racing cars.