Rolex 24 Recap: Hours 19-24

The final countdown to the conclusion of the 59th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Filled with action and close racing among several of the classes, here is a brief recap and highlights of the final six hours…

HOUR 19

The top-2 of the DPi class both pit at the same time, though the #10 of Alexander Rossi won the race off pit road. At the same time, Simon Pagenaud locked up the tires and had to turn around in the runoff area of the turn exiting the infield portion of the course. He lost significant time in the process, close to a full lap behind.

The #96 GTD, driven by young IndyCar star Colton Herta came down pit road with a flat right rear tire.

Heartbreak for the #31 Action Express team as Felipe Nasr drove the Cadillac into the garage for a mechanical issue. This is the team that defending NASCAR champion Chase Elliott had been making his Rolex debut with. They were running on the lead lap at the time.

Kevin Magnussen in the #01 Chip Ganassi entry chased down leader Alexander Rossi and initially took the lead heading into the Bus Stop, but nearly went for a wild ride. Magnussen maintained control of the car, but lost the lead back to Rossi.

Full-course yellow came out for debris with a little under 5 hours and 30 minutes remaining in the race. Restart came 15 minutes or so later and Kevin Magnussen passed Rossi for the lead. Simon Pagenaud fell in right behind them both in 3rd, now in contention after the caution closed the gap.

In GTD, the #57 Mercedes of Philip Ellis held the lead over the #21 Ferrari of Nicklas Nielsen, continuing the battle the two teams have fought for many hours.

Magnussen was handed a costly pass through penalty while leading the race. The infraction was wheel rotation (tires spinning) while on jack stands in pit lane. His co-driver Scott Dixon overcame a speeding penalty and led within 3-4 hours of the penalty, and this wheel rotation penalty came with a little more than 5 hours remaining.

HOUR 20

The Corvette’s swapped the lead, with the #3 of Jordan Taylor leading the way for the GTLM class.

When Matteo Cressoni in the #21 Ferrari attempted to pass Philip Ellis in the #57 Mercedes going into Turn 1, they made contact and the 21 spun around, hitting the tire barrier softly. When continuing, a tire went down on the car, adding insult to injury.


The #9 Porsche in GTD went behind the wall. All the while, the DPi battle for the lead heated up between Filipe Albuquerque (#10) and Simon Pagenaud (#48), though Albuquerque pulled away once Pagenaud switched out for Mike Rockenfeller in a round of pit stops. In that same cycle of pit stops, Scott Dixon, who was trying to close the gap from the earlier penalty, had a slow stop because of a failing pit gun working on the left rear.

HOUR 21

A calm 21st hour. The leads in each class expanded, and everyone made pit stops, some teams choosing to switch drivers. All in all, everyone used this time to set themselves up for how to go about their finish of the event.

The #82 LMP2, while running in 3rd, started spewing smoke and made an unscheduled pit stop. The DragonSpeed crew dismantled the rear end of the car to assess the issue.

AJ Allmendinger masterfully held off a hard-charging Scott Dixon for the 3rd position for several laps before Dixon finally made the pass. Filipe Albuquerque still over 13 seconds ahead of 2nd place Mike Rockenfeller.

HOUR 22

The #5 DPi car, which has had an eventful Rolex 24, cut a tire and was slow around the track, dropping some debris. Loic Duval was able to safely bring the Cadillac back to pit road without bringing out a caution. Many of the DPi leaders took the time to make their pit stops in case a full-course yellow would to be thrown. The #48 ALLY Cadillac team opted to turn to Kamui Kobayashi to potentially finish out the race chasing down Ricky Taylor in the #10 for the victory.

The #11 LMP2 nearly brought out a caution when Steven Thomas spun the car through the grass in the Bus Stop section. Thomas kept driving and the race remained steady.

The fastest car on the track, Scott Dixon in the #01, blew a right rear tire while chasing down the leaders. This latest edition of the series of unfortunate events for the #01 brought out the caution that bunched up the entire field for a final 2 and a half hour dash to the finish.

At the restart, Dane Cameron in the #60 Acura raced Ricky Taylor (#10) hard for the lead. Initially Cameron was able to hold Taylor off but soon after, Cameron fell to 3rd. While the Mazda, which had been several laps down most of the race, moved up into 2nd. For the first time in the 22 hours of the race, the Mazda team was in a competitive position.

HOUR 23

Caution came out with just under two hours left to go. The #21 of Daniel Serra went through the grass and picked up some signage, causing the debris caution.

The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry was not out of it yet. Shortly after the restart, with just under 2 hours left, Renger van der Zande moved up to 4th around Dane Cameron. The #24 BMW of Augusto Farfus took the lead away from the #4 Corvette of Alexander Sims, challenging the Corvette dominance of the race. Sims would retake the lead soon after, however.

Through the next set of pit stops, Ricky Taylor handed over the #10 to Filipe Albuquerque, who assumed the lead, while the Mazda changed to Harry Tincknell. The #60 Acura went with Juan Pablo Montoya to finish out the race for the team.

Tincknell passed Renger van der Zande for 2nd, in a surprising display of strength for the Mazda that was down and out of contention for so much of the event.

After pit stops, the #24 BMW found itself back in the GTLM lead with Farfus, but Jordan Taylor in the dominant #3 Corvette flew right by in the tri-oval and began pulling away as the clock ticked closer to one hour remaining and teams began to make their penultimate pit stops.

Running slow with some left rear tire smoke was the #21 Ferrari GTD of Nicklas Nielsen, after running so competitively for the GTD victory for so much of the Rolex. A rough downward spiral for that team.

HOUR 24

During the penultimate pit stops, Renger van der Zande took advantage of pitting earlier and cycled around as the leader with Kamui Kobayashi taking 2nd. Both drivers looking for their 3rd consecutive Rolex 24 victory. In 3rd place, the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing entry, the team that van der Zande and Kobayashi won with the previous 2 years.

With 40 minutes remaining, the gap between Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi shrunk down to about a half-second. The gap between the two Corvette’s, even less. The prototype drivers made their final pit stop with 35 minutes left in the race.

When they cycle out, Albuquerque (#10) leads, then Renger van der Zande (#01), Harry Tincknell (#55), and Kobayashi (#48).

With 18 minutes left the #01 has caught the #10 of Albuquerque. Challenging for the lead and the win.

7 minutes left and the right rear tire of the #01 went down. No caution and Renger van der Zande nurses the car down pit road. Filipe Albuquerque has a more comfortable lead at this point.

Filipe Albuquerque drove the #10 Acura to victory, the third consecutive win for Wayne Taylor Racing and their fourth in five years!

DPi Podium:

Pos#DriversCar
110Filipe Albuquerque

Ricky Taylor

Alexander Rossi

Helio Castroneves

Acura
248Kamui Kobayashi

Jimmie Johnson

Simon Pagenaud

Mike Rockenfeller

Cadillac
355Harry Tincknell

Jonathan Bomarito

Oliver Jarvis

Mazda

LMP2 Podium:

Pos#DriversCar
118Paul-Loup Chatin

Ryan Dalziel

Kyle Tilley

Dwight Merriman

ORECA
28Gabriel Aubry

John Farano

Matthieu Vaxviere

Timothe Buret

ORECA
382Christopher Mies

Eric Lux

Devlin DeFrancesco

Fabian Schiller

ORECA

LMP3 Podium:

Pos#DriversCar
174Spencer Pigot

Gar Robinson

Scott Andrews

Oliver Askew

Ligier
233Joao Barbosa

Lance Willsey

Yann Clalray

Wayne Boyd

Ligier
36Laurents Hoerr

Mortiz Kranz

Kenton Koch

Stevan McAleer

Duquiene

GTLM Podium:

Pos#DriversCar
13Jordan Taylor

Antonio Garcia

Nicky Catsburg

Corvette
24Tommy Milner

Nick Tandy

Alexander Sims

Corvette
324Augusto Farfus

John Edwards

Jesse Krohn

Marco Wittmann

BMW

GTD Podium:

Pos#DriversCar
157Maro Engel

Russell Ward

Philip Ellis

Indy Dontje

Mercedes-AMG
275Raffaele Marciello

Kenny Habul

Luca Stolz

Mikael Grenier

Mercedes-AMG
31Andrea Caldarelli

Bryan Sellers

Madison Snow

Corey Lewis

Lamborghini

Author: Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey (@TomBaileyScoop) grew up in the backyard of Chicagoland Speedway, making a passion for all motorsports inevitable. Tom is entering his first full year of racing coverage in 2020 as the owner and founder of InfieldScoop.com. You can contact him at [email protected]

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