After an epic battle with Cadillac, Porsche wins the Daytona 24h.

After an epic battle with Cadillac, Porsche wins the Daytona 24h.

It was Penske’s first win here since 1969 and Porsche’s 19th overall win here. Porsche has won four more times as an engine supplier.

Blomqvist stepped up the pressure with 20 minutes left as they went after the GTD stragglers, but Nasr kept his cool.

Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken, and Tom Blomqvist drove the #31 Cadillac V-Series.R, which was run by the defending series champions Action Express Racing.

They were in a straight fight with Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden, and Felipe Nasr, who were in the #7 factory Porsche 963.

Blomqvist passed Nasr for the lead with 72 minutes left by making a three-wide move around a GTD Ferrari. Blomqvist’s tires were warmer because he had pitted three laps earlier.

After Nasr reported a “massive vibration” over the radio, he fell behind by 3.7s. Blomqvist then had a big accident at the International Horseshoe, which cost him 1.3s.

This showed how hard the leaders were battling as the race entered its last hour. Blomqvist then caught Mathieu Jaminet’s #6 Penske Porsche, which was in fourth place. This slowed it down for a lap, which Nasr used to catch up.

But just as their battle was getting heated up again, the #12 Lexus RC F in GTD class caught fire at the pit. This meant that the race had to start over with less than 30 minutes left.

In the last few pit stops, Nasr got ahead of Blomqvist because he needed less gas, and the Porsche’s problem with slow tire warm-up was fixed by a few laps behind the safety car.

Nasr got ahead on the last green by swerving to break Blomqvist and keep the lead. Blomqvist stayed close to Nasr for a second or two, looking like he was waiting for his chance to attack in traffic.

With five laps to go, the gap was only half a second. Nasr was clearly on the edge, especially at Turn 1, but on the last lap, the faster cars let him go.

Behind them, the #40 Acura ARX-06 took over for Wayne Taylor Racing in Andretti when the #10 sister car had an electrical problem in the dark on Saturday night, after leading the first hour, and had to be rewired.

Matt Campbell’s #7 Porsche Penske 963 LMDh had an 8.3-second lead after 21 hours of racing in the first race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship season. Jack Aitken’s #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac came in second.

At the end of hour 18, the #6 Porsche had to come into the pits to serve a 10-second stop/go penalty. Aitken took the lead in the only remaining Cadillac, but Campbell’s other 963 was hard to get past.

Aitken and Campbell were battling for 20 minutes before Campbell finally made a move. He used a GTD car to turn around the far end of the Caddy along the banking to seize the lead.

The Australian driver opened up a five-second lead before handing the car over to his teammate Felipe Nasr. Nasr drove just as well, extending the lead to thirteen seconds.

Nasr lost the lead when the #33 Sean Creech Ligier LMP2 machine left debris on the track, but he had no problems keeping Aitken at bay when the race went back to green.

At the next pit stop, Campbell took over driving the #7 Porsche and kept it well clear of the pack as the clock struck 10:40 in Daytona. At the same time, Aitken strengthened his hold on second place.

When Kevin Estre went off the track right after a pit stop in the 20th hour, the #6 Porsche was in third place. It got stuck in the run-off area.

In LMP2, Era Motorsport grew its lead, with Connor Zilisch running 14 seconds ahead of Malthe Jakobsen in the #04 Crowstrike by APR ORECA.

Third place went to Pietro Fittipaldi in the #52 Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen car, and fourth place went to Scott McLaughlin in the #8 Tower Motorsports ORECA.