Rolex 24 update at Hour 21: No. 7 Porsche leads No. 31 Cadillac as Penske hunts Daytona victory

Porsche Penske Motorsport is three hours away from delivering Roger Penske his first Rolex 24 at Daytona victory in 55 years.

Through 21 hours, Felipe Nasr had the No. 7 Porsche 963 in first by more than 9 seconds over the pole-sitting No. 31 Action Express Cadillac being driven by Pipo Derani.

With 689 laps completed, the No. 5 Porsche 963 of Proton Competition was in third with Neel Jani, the only other driver on the lead lap.

HOW TO WATCH THE ROLEX 24: TV information, schedules, start times and entry lists

HOUR 21: Click here for overall results l By category

Richard Westbrook was a lap down in fourth with the No. 85 Porsche of JDC-Miller MotorSports. Louis Deletraz was fifth in the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 and then the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 being driven by Nick Tandy.

After the top six cars, the next Grand Touring Prototype car was the No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 of Jesse Krohn in seventh, a lap ahead of the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL being driven by Connor De Phillippi.

The No. 7 963 has led for more than 100 consecutive laps since taking the lead from the No. 31 Cadillac on Lap 594.

Penske’s most recent Rolex 24 victory came in 1969 with a Lola T70 Mk. IIIB whose lineup included the late Mark Donohue.

The leaders in other categories after 21 hours:

LMP2: Dwight Merriman in the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07

GTD Pro: Daniel Serra in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3

GTD: Russell Wardin the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3

The race is being streamed flag to flag on Peacock and is on USA Network until noon ET Sunday. The conclusion will be shown from noon to 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

More from earlier in the race below:

Hour 19 update

Entering the 20th hour of the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, the endurance race classic is shaping up as a three-way fight between two manufacturers — Cadillac and Porsche.

The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac has led the most laps from the pole position, but the Porsche Penske Motorsport 963s also have led significant chunks of the race.

After 19 hours and more than 620 laps, Felipe Nasr was first in the No. 7 Porsche 963 by more than 14 seconds over the No. 31 Cadillac V-Series.R currently being driven by Jack Aitken. The No. 6 Porsche 963 was in third with Laurens Vanthoor behind the wheel.

HOUR 19: Click here for overall results l By category

There were six Grand Touring Prototype entries on the lead lap and in the hunt for the overall victory. The No. 5 Porsche 963 of Proton Competition (a customer team) was in fourth with Neel Jani, followed by Louis Deletraz in the No. 40 Acura ARX-06 of Wayne Taylor Racing. The No. 85 Porsche of JDC-Miller MotorSports was in sixth with Richard Westbrook.

After a choppy start, the race settled down overnight. The 14th yellow flag interrupted a nearly three-hour stretch of green-flag racing that encompassed over 100 laps.

The leaders in other categories after 19 hours:

LMP2: George Kurtz in the No. 04 Crowdstrike Racing ORECA LMP2 07

GTD Pro: Madison Snow in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3

GTD: Alessio Rivera in the No. 023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3

The race is being streamed flag to flag on Peacock and is on USA Network until noon ET Sunday. The conclusion will be shown from noon to 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

More from earlier in the race below:

Hour 16 update

The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac remains in the hunt for the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona victory, but the No. 01 Cadillac Racing entry is the first Grand Touring Prototype car out of the race.

Through 16 of 24 hours, Pipo Derani was leading in the No. 31 Cadillac V-Series.R after 519 laps by 3.012 seconds over the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 being driven by Nick Tandy.

After dueling for the lead throughout the first half of the race, Renger van der Zande went off course in Turn 1 with a mechanical problem just after the 13-hour mark.

The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared Cadillac V-Series.R was retired 35 minutes later after being transported to the Daytona International Speedway garage.

HOUR 16: Click here for overall results l By category

In a statement, Cadillac Racing said, “The No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R experienced a mechanical powertrain issue in the second half of the grueling race that resulted in retirement of the entry. Cadillac Racing will investigate to find the root cause.”

With the No. 10 Acura having fallen more than 100 laps behind after earlier problems, eight GTP hybrid prototypes still remained running ahead of the rest of the field.

With more than 500 laps completed, there were six GTP cars still on the lead lap: the No. 31 Cadillac, Porsche Penske Motorsport’s No. 6 and No. 7 963s, the No. 5 of Porsche Proton Competition, the No. 40 Acura ARX-06 of Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti and the No. 85 Porsche of JDC-MIller MotorSports.

BMW M Team RLL’s two prototypes both were several laps behind and would need help to get back in contention.

The No. 31 has led the most laps after starting from the pole position with Pipo Derani and co-drivers Jack Aitken and Tom Blomqvist. It’s the only entry with three drivers in the premier GTP category.

“The car is just working well,” Blomqvist said. “It’s difficult out there because the Porsche and BMW are quick at different points. It’s hard work. Sometimes you feel like you’re slow and the next thing you know you feel like you’re fast. We got back to the front though it’s still a long way to go.”

Though the Porsche Penske Motorsport cars seem the stiffest competition, the 963s also have faced mechanical challenges. IMSA has warned and penalized the Porsches (with drive-through and 10-second penalties) for “failing to adhere to controlled powertrain parameters” of the hybrid engine (which must maintain a balance of electric power).

“We’ve had a frustrating night,” No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport driver Nick Tandy said. “We’ve experienced some issues on our side. We’ve had some penalties on our car and at any point, we could run the risk of getting another one. It’s up to us drivers to manage this.

“It’s something we can’t really fix, because we’re not really sure what’s going on. We’re having to take some performance out of the car in a certain area to stay within the parameters of the hybrid system, but it’s going well. We’ve been learning throughout the night. The pace is decent the car’s good. The car is good when we’re running. We’ve been looking forward to when the sun comes out again. The caddies were very strong at the start of the race but we’ll see.”

Other divisions:

In LMP2, the No. 8 of Tower Motorsports was had traded the lead with the No. 18 of Era Motorsport.

In the GTD Pro category, the No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 of Paul Miller Racing was battling for the lead with the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R.

The GTD category was shaping up as a battle of Mercedes AMG GT3s with the No. 80 of Lone Star Racing and No. 57 of Winward Racing battling at the front.

Hour 10 update

After adding a second prototype for the first time this year, Wayne Taylor Racing is back to having only one contender in the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The No. 10 Acura ARX-06 fell more than 70 laps down Saturday night after the car stopped on track without power just past the eight-hour mark of the endurance race classic. Filipe Albuquerque was behind the wheel of the car when he smelled something burning in the Le Mans Chicane.

After shifting into seventh gear on the straightaway, the hybrid engine died, and then all of the car’s electrical systems shut off. Because it was stuck in first gear, the car was unable to be towed to the Daytona International Speedway garage, costing the team more precious time to diagnose the problem.

HOUR 10: Overall results l By category

Repairs on a reported electrical wiring harness issue took more than two hours to complete, and the No. 10 returned to the track just after midnight ET.

It was a stunning turn of events for a team that had won the Rolex 24 in four of the past seven years (2017, 2019-21). But Albuquerque said the team might have been lacking winning speed compared with the Cadillacs, which had dominated the race (with Porsche Penske Motorsport also leading for more than an hour).

Both Acuras had led but only by inheriting the lead through pit strategy calls.

“The Cadillac, it feels like they’re already on the Formula One spec engine,” Albuquerque, who co-drives the No. 10 with Ricky Taylor, Brendon Hartley and Marcus Ericsson, told NBC Sports‘ Kevin Lee. “They passed me easy. I think we could fight for the podium.”

Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti is known for its reliability and durability. Adding a second entry in Grand Touring Prototype and a new full-time Lamborghini in GTD, the team had more than tripled in size during the offseason.

On a recent NASCAR on NBC Podcast episode, team owner Wayne Taylor had said about the expansion that “there’s going to be glitches. It’s the first time out for everybody” but also expressed confidence that his team’s detail-oriented quality control could be maintained.

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The team’s new No. 40 ARX-06 also had a problem, but a power steering failure was rectified. The car, which is co-driven by Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz, Colton Herta and Jenson Button, was back on the lead lap with the other nine GTP hybrid prototypes still in contention after 300 laps.

At the front of the pack, the overall victory was shaping up as a fight between Cadillac and Porsche Penske Motorsport. The pole-sitting No. 31 Action Express Cadillac V-Series.R of Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken and Tom Blomqvist had led the most laps.

The No. 01 Cadillac prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing also had led more than 30 laps before falling two laps down because of a flat tire with just more than 15 hours remaining. Sebastien Bourdais managed to avoid sustaining any significant damage while the car limped back to the pits.

The incident happened just a lap after the No. 01 had taken the lead on Lap 273. Derani inherited the lead for the next 21 laps.

The No. 6 Porsche 963 then moved into the lead for the first time, showcasing the strength of the Penske-prepared cars. Its sister No. 7 car had led 70 laps earlier.

The leaders in other categories with 14 hours and 30 minutes remaining: Pato O’Ward (No. 2 ORECA LMP2), Christopher Mies (No. 65 Ford Mustang, GTD Pro) and Daniel Morad (No. 57 Mercedes, GTD).

Hour 6 update

After Cadillacs led most of the first five hours in the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, Porsche Penske Motorsport reached the front with 18 hours and 44 minutes remaining.

Matt Campbell took the first lead for a Porsche 963 with a power move in the No. 7 in Turn 1 around the outside of the No. 31 Cadillac being driven by Tom Blomqvist.

Campbell built a comfortable margin of more than 2 seconds over Blomqvist with just more than six hours remaining.

HOUR 6: Overall results l By category

“I think we have some speed and a chance to fight if things line up toward the end of the race,” said Dane Cameron, Campbell’s Porsche teammate on the No. 7 963 with Josef Newgarden and Felipe Nasr. “So quite a long way to go.”

The Porsche Penske Motorsports 963s had been lurking through the first quarter of the race while the lead mostly was traded between two Cadillac V-Series.R entries — the pole-sitting No. 31 of Action Express and the No. 01 prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing.

The Wayne Taylor Racing Andretti Acuras also took turns at the front by getting off strategy, and the No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 led a lap by staying out of sequence as all four manufacturers in the Grand Touring Prototype category spent time in first.

But on an unseasonably warm afternoon with temperatures in the mid-70s at Daytona International Speedway, the Cadillacs seemed to have the best pace as Pipo Derani, Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais took extended turns at the front.

Dixon said the Cadillac had notably better handling than last year when the No. 01 finished third behind two Acuras in the debut of the highly sophisticated hybrid prototypes in GTP.

“The Cadillacs have some good pace,” Dixon said. “Everybody at Cadillac and GM have done a tremendous job in making the car more drivable especially with some of the (driver) aides and setup in general. So it’s much easier to get close to the edge than last year. You kind of weren’t really sure where the edge was.

“I think our long-run pace is good, but the fight at the end, a lot of cars are very competitive. Acura looked fast. Porsche looked really racy on restarts. BMW has looked good for a couple of weeks. You wait until that point to see who you’re fighting.”

Bourdais, Dixon’s Ganassi teammate, was expecting a challenge from the 963s, particularly on the straightaways where the Cadillacs lack some top-end speed.

“We knew we were going to have a fight on our hands and we do,” Bourdais said. “The car shows it’s got plenty of pace, we’ve never been in doubt of that. When it comes down to interacting with other cars, we have to outbrake ourselves to get by because we’re barely keeping up on the straights.

“So it’s good we’re leading, and we definitely can put on a fight, but it’s the hard way. We knew we had a strong package as far as optimizing the performance level, but it won’t be easy if it comes down to a drag race in the last 30 minutes. There seems to be some rain on the way, so it could be a pretty exciting race if the weather comes into the play. It’s a very trickly place.”

Weather already was a major factor Friday afternoon on a 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course that was slicker than expected for many teams, sending some sports cars from the lower divisions into the SAFER and tire barriers.

The difficult conditions were compounded by the GTP drivers trying to double-stint their tires to conserve sets for the end of the race.

“It was tricky for me,” Dixon said. “Two and a half stints on the same set of tires was definitely an eye opener and to actually hold onto the pace and lead shows the car is in good shape. As we build on double-stinting tires, that should help us on the back end of the race.

“It was pretty crazy out there, lots of interesting traffic, so I’m just trying to keep on track and out of trouble.”

No. 6 Porsche driver Mathieu Jaminet said his team took an “aggressive strategy” by keeping him on old tires, which made some moves “impossible” to pass slower traffic in Turn 1 and Turn 5.

“It was tough trying to stay on track, trying to survive and keep the car in one piece,” Jaminet said.

Said teammate Nick Tandy, who started the race: “It was interesting because I think that the conditions are unlike what we’ve seen so far the last two weeks. The track temps are up, it’s a proper slick on the infield, and everyone’s cars are reacting differently.”

Aside from a long first pit stop for a systems check, Tandy was happy with his car while noting the Cadillacs had an early edge.

“In the heat of day, they seem to have an advantage under braking and traction,” Tandy said. “They seem to handle better in those two areas. So far they do have the upper hand now, but I’ve seen this race changes all the time. Maybe in a few hours we might have a different answer. They look strong and competitive. If we can keep up to the lead, that’s the aim for now. Just staying close to the leaders, and there’s a lot of racing to be done.”

Louis Deletraz led for 30 minutes in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 40 Acura ARX-06 by double-stinting a set of tires as many teams tried to conserve sets for Sunday despite the slick conditions Saturday.

“Cadillac and Porsche are quick definitely,” Deletraz said. “I hope the conditions cool down, because we seem stronger then.”

With WTRAndretti having a second GTP car for the first time, Ricky Taylor was pleased the team was able to exploit some differing strategy plays.

“We’ve set the tone,” said Taylor, who led for 30 minutes in the No. 10. “No one is strategizing for the end yet. It’s all just games and trying to keep your car clean. It’s interesting to see the dropoff and how the overcut, undercut is working as tires degrade. It’s fun to see the 40 car try something different.

“The Cadillacs seem very strong. No one is taking a lot of risk. So hopefully we’ll learn something between the two cars to put us up there. It’s a difficult race. The two Cadillacs and two Porsches seem the strongest so far we’ve seen.”

Despite briefly losing a lap to a power steering problem, Colton Herta said the WTRAndretti’s No. 40 just needs a little more speed for Sunday.

“We should be able to fight,” Herta said. “I was able to pass some of the Porsches, they may be struggling with tire (degradation) more than us, but I don’t know how their strategy work. We’re struggling right now with a little bit of pace. The Caddies seem very fast. We have to find a little bit.”

Taylor, a native of central Florida, is hoping the weather could be an equalizer by reverting to the mild conditions expected in late January.

“Even we didn’t expect it to be this hot,” he said. “It’s a very strange Rolex 24 so far in terms of temperature. … There could be lots of doubling (tire stints) late in the race, which is going to be really difficult”

At the six-hour mark, the leaders in other categories were: Malthe Jakobsen (LMP2), Bryan Sellers (GTD Pro) and Kenton Koch (GTD).

Hour 2 update

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was leading the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona after two hours of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.

Dixon took over in the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R entry from Sebastien Bourdais, who had seized the lead from Ricky Taylor on a restart shortly past the first hour of the 24-hour endurance race.

Driving the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963, Dane Cameron was in second after two hours, followed by Jack Aitken in the No. 31 Cadillac that started on the pole position.

HOUR 2: Overall results l By category

The race was under yellow at the two-hour mark after Steven Thomas lost control of the No. 11 ORECA LMP2 entering the Le Mans Chicane. Thomas was able to walk away after a head-on collision with the backstretch SAFER barrier at Daytona International Speedway.

Other category leaders after the two-hour mark:

LMP2: Nico Pino, No. 2 ORECA

GTD Pro: Marvin Kirchhofer, No. 9 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO

GTD: Parker Thompson, No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3

Hour 1 update

The 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, got off to a choppy start and was plagued by yellow flags for the latter half of its first hour.

Driving for Wayne Taylor Racing Andretti, Ricky Taylor was in first with the No. 10 Acura ARX-06 after the first hour.

Taylor took the lead from pole-sitter Pipo Derani during a pit stop sequence during the first yellow, which came after 28 minutes when Misha Goikhberg spun the No. 78 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 into the tire barrier in Turn 7.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Three minutes after the restart, there was another caution for two separate incidents. Three LMP2 cars were involved in a wreck on the back straightaway, and the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Mike Conway ran into the No. 20 LMP2, which went off course and then back across the track (leaving Conway with nowhere to go).

HOUR 1: Overall results l By category

The No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 is the defending champion of the GTD Pro category, and its lineup includes rising IndyCar star Kyle Kirkwood.

After the first hour, Sebastien Bourdais was second behind Taylor in the No. 01 Cadillac Racing entry prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing. Felipe Nasr was in third in the premier Grand Touring Prototype category with the No. 7 963 Porsche Penske Motorsport.

Derani led from the pole position for the first 30 minutes in the No. 31 Cadillac V-Series.R.

Other category leaders after Hour 1 of the 24-hour race:

LMP2: George Kurtz, No. 04 ORECA LMP2

GTD Pro: Andrea Caldarelli, No. 19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2

GTD: Aaron Telitz, No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3

Track officials said this year’s crowd will be the biggest in event history, breaking the mark set last year when an estimated 50,000 attended.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

How to watch the Rolex 24 at Daytona

The 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona will be streamed across the NBC Sports App, and Peacock, which will have coverage of the event from flag to flag.

Broadcast coverage of the race coverage will begin Saturday, Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock before moving to USA Network and Peacock from 2:30-8 p.m. and then will be exclusively on Peacock and IMSA.TV from 8-10 p.m. Coverage will return to USA Network and Peacock from 10 p.m. to midnight and then move to Peacock/IMSA.TV until 6 a.m.

From 6 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Jan. 28, Rolex 24 coverage will be available on USA Network. The conclusion of the Rolex 24 will run from noon through 2 p.m. on NBC. Rolex 24 coverage

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Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Josef Newgarden among notable crossovers this year
Inside the sophisticated cockpit of a GTP hybrid prototype
Bubba Wallace wowed by sports car culture
Pipo Derani puts No. 31 Cadillac on pole position with record lap at Daytona
Defending Rolex 24 winner Mike Shank on IMSA comeback: “I work on it every day”
As his team grows bigger than ever, Wayne Taylor keeps an eye on the little things

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