Renger van der Zande, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon and Kamui Kobayashi have won the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-VR, setting a new distance record of 832 laps while BMW Team RLL wins an intense battle to take top honours in GTLM.
The #77 Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez and Olivier Pla started the race from pole and were very fast in the early hours, holding off a hard charging Dixon as night fell but eventually dropped down the order after a penalty for passing under a local yellow. In their absence, the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-VR took the lead before Joao Barbosa was hunted down and passed by Kamui Kobayashi to reclaim the lead for the gloss black Konica Minolta prototype.
Things looked set for the 2019 winners, until a series of cautions on Sunday morning threw the race on its head and found themselves a lap down after Briscoe served a 60-second stop-and-hold for ignoring a red light on pit exit after a stop under caution.
Two further cautions, including one caused by the burning #19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of GEAR Racing, allowed Briscoe to get back on the lead lap and pick off rivals one by one and reclaim the lead of the race in the final hours.
Kobayashi then brought the car across the line for his second Daytona win in a row, while the polesitting Mazda Team Joest car of Jarvis, Nunez and Pla finished second ahead of the Mustang Sampling Cadillac of Joao Barbosa, Loic Duval and Sebastien Bourdais.
Reigning DPi champions Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth with Simon Pagenaud in the #6 Acura ARX-05 ahead of the #55 Mazda RT24-P of Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Tincknell was involved in an incident with the #7 Team Penske Acura of Ricky Taylor, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves when the Briton attempted to shoot up the inside of Castroneves at the Bus Stop Chicane, but spun himself out as Castroneves was sent into the tyre barrier, requiring repairs.
The #24 BMW Team RLL crew of John Edwards, Augusto Farfus, Chaz Mostert and Jesse Krohn won an intense and tightly fought GTLM fight to take class victory, with the BMW M8 GTE repeatedly using its speed advantage on the oval to close in and pass the two Porsche 911 RSR-19, despite delays by an unplanned brake pad change on pit road during the nightly hours.
Krohn opened up a gap during the final hour, cruising to victory while the #912 Porsche trio of Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber and Mathieu Jaminet won a contact-heavy inter-team fight to finish second ahead of the #911 of Nick Tandy, Fred Makowiecki and Matt Campbell. Corvette finished fourth in the C8.Rs debut as the #3 of Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nick Catsburg was briefly involved in the lead fight before dropping back.
It did notably better than the #4 of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler, which spent over half the race in the garage with an oil leak, but did make it to the chequered flag. Risi Competizione was GTLM’s only retirement after late race rear puncture for the #62 Ferrari 488 GTE at the hands of James Calado, after which the team decided to retire from a race in which it was decidedly off-pace.
Dragonspeed has retained its Daytona crown in LMP2 as Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman, Harrison Newey and Colin Braun finished several laps ahead of the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, despite the #52 ORECA 07-Gibson of Ben Keating, Gabriel Aubry, Nick Boulle and Simon Trummer was the dominant factor for the majority of the race before a toe link issue cost it several laps. The team still finished second behind Dragonspeed’s #81 ORECA, with Kyle Tilley, Dwight Merriman, Nic Minassian and Ryan Lewis finishing third in the #18 Era Motorsport ORECA.
In GTD, Lamborghini dominated proceedings after the polesitting #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, which was initially the dominant car, suffered a driveshaft issue and drops out of contention. Factory aces Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli then duked out an all-Italian battle with Audi ace Mirko Bortolotti, with Caldarelli winning out and taking victory for himself, Madison Snow, Corey Lewis and Bryan Sellers in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo ahead of the #44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini of Mapelli, Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and John Potter.
Third place went to Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen, Daniel Morad and Dries Vanthoor. Wright Motorsports’ #16 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Ryan Hardwick, Anthony Imperato, Patrick Long and Klaus Bachler was fourth.
GTD featured a number of high-profile retirements. As mentioned, the #19 GEAR Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Christina Nielsen, Rahel Frey, Katherine Legge and Tatiana Calderon went up in flames.
The #47 Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and #23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 were involved in a bizarre incident when Alex Riberas smashed his Aston Martin into the back of Mark Kvamme’s Lamborghini at pit entry, ending the Spaniard’s race instantly while the Lamborghini would later retire with mechanical woes. The #98 Aston Martin Racing effort also retired after two consecutive spills by factory ace Ross Gunn, first coming together with the #3 Corvette before crashing on his own on cold tyres.