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Rolex 24, Hour 20: Lead AXR Cadillac three laps clear

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Rolex 24, Hour 20: Lead AXR Cadillac three laps clear
By:
Jan 28, 2018, 3:40 PM

The #5 Action Express Racing Cadillac held a commanding three-lap lead heading into the final four hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

After the 18th-hour caution period closed together the two lead AXR Cadillac DPi-V.Rs, the Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque-crewed #5 machine gained a decisive edge when the sister #31 car had to go behind the pitwall for a water top-up.

Fittipaldi had brought in the #5 machine to do likewise during the caution period, but maintained the lead, and as the #31 car made its stop during green flag conditions it ended up dropping three laps.

However, a clutch problem for the third-placed #32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 meant the Cadillac of Mike Conway, Felipe Nasr, Stuart Middleton and Eric Curran continued to run second.

Inheriting third was the #54 CORE autosport Oreca LMP2, with Romain Dumas at the wheel a further lap behind Nasr's Cadillac, and two ahead of Ho-Pin Tung in the #78 Jota-run Jackie Chan DCR car.

Paul di Resta resumed the race in the #32 Ligier in fifth place, 40 seconds behind the #78 Oreca.

Fernando Alonso's #23 machine lost further ground at the start of the 19th hour with a reported fly-by-wire throttle problem that dropped it down to 19th overall, 36 laps down on Barbosa's leading Cadillac.

GTLM: Ford extends lead over Corvette

In GT Le Mans, the two Fords had pulled away from the lead Corvette after the previous caution period bunched up the leading three cars in class.

Dirk Muller and Ryan Briscoe continue to circulate around a second apart in the #66 and #67 Ganassi-run cars, with Mike Rockenfeller a minute and a half behind the #3 C7.R but still on the lead lap.

The #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 has clawed its way up to fifth ahead of the leading Porsche, despite suffering a puncture in the 20th hour.

GT Daytona is being headed by the #11 Grasser Lamborghini of Franck Perera, who cycled out ahead of the #33 Team Riley Mercedes in the last round of pitstops and leads by a little over 10 seconds.

NASCAR star AJ Allmendinger holds third in the #86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX, a further seven seconds behind.

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Rolex 24, Hour 18: AXR continues to dominate at sunrise

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Rolex 24, Hour 18: AXR continues to dominate at sunrise

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Rolex 24, Hour 22: AXR and Cadillac closing on win

Rolex 24, Hour 22: AXR and Cadillac closing on win
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About this article

Series IMSA
Event Daytona 24
Location Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Joao Barbosa
Teams Action Express Racing
Author Jamie Klein