As soon as the sun set on the Rolex 24 at Daytona the action kicked into high gear. Oliver Jarvis holds the overall lead in his #77 Mazda DPi after eight hours, but the path there was anything but straightforward.
The action started with the race’s first full course caution as night fell just short of five hours into the race.
While attempting to slow down to enter pit lane, the #47 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo driven by Eric Lux was hit from behind by Alex Riberas in the #23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, sending both cars spinning through the grass on the front stretch.
The Aston Martin came out the worst of the two GTD cars, with his hood and front left tire being ripped off. The Vantage was towed back to the garage while the Lamborghini was able to drive away with minimal damage and continued after a pit stop.
After the caution and a flurry of pit stops from the entire field, Olivier Pla in the #77 Mazda prototype quickly advanced from third to first with some brave on-track passes. The top four overall leaders continued to put on a nighttime spectacle, regularly jockeying for positions among the slower traffic.
At the end of eight hours the running order at the front of the field is Oliver Jarvis in the #77 Mazda DPi leading Scott Dixon in the #10 Cadillac DPi and Juan Pablo Montoya in the #6 Acura DPi.
The LMP2 race was not nearly as competitive in this section of the race with the top three maintaining position. Simon Trummer maintains a healthy class lead in the #52 ORECA 07-Gibson. Ben Hanley in the #81 and David Hansson in the #8 round out the top three.
Seven hours and 45 minutes into the race Cameron Cassels in the #38 LMP2 entry ran wide at turn 3 and got the car stuck in the grass up against the tire barrier bringing out the second full course caution. Cassels was running fifth and last in class at the time.
After a nose change, some minor repairs, and a driver change to Robert Masson, the #38 was able to continue.
At the front of GTLM the #24 BMW M8 GTE put up a good fight against the two Porches throughout the night so far and Augusto Farfus maintains the class lead at this point. Earl Bamber runs in second in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR-19 with the #911 Porsche 911 driven by Fred Makowiecki in third.
GTD has also had some good battles as the track cooled throughout the night. The #44 and #48 Lamborghinis have spent a lot of time at the front with Madison Snow in the #48 in the lead after eight hours. Running second is Zacharie Robichon in the #9 Porsche 911 GT3 R and in third is Misha Goikhberg in the #57 Acura NSX GT3.
The #7 Acura ARX-05 DPi worked its way back up to 19th place overall after spending approximately 30 minutes in the garage repairing damage from a hard crash earlier in the race.