The action in the opening six hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona was spectacular and battles raged throughout the field.
Not only did teams face another 18 hours of competition, rain began to hit the track shortly after the six hour mark.
While the Porsche of Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner and Fred Makowiecki were scored as the race leader as pit stops cycled through in the GTLM class when the clock ticked past the six hour mark, the initial part of the event was dominated by the No.66 Ford of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastian Bourdais.
They mirrored their battle from Le Mans last year with the Risi Ferrari who were their biggest challenger. Jan Magnussen put the No.3 Corvette into third place with a strong triple stint off the start.
Heartache struck the No.24 BMW which was forced to retire with gearbox issues while the No.4 Corvette was hit by the No.69 of Harry Tincknell. The ‘Vette suffered a broken suspension arm and later stopped on track to bring out a full course yellow at the six hour mark.
In the prototype ranks the new Cadillac DPi machines dominated at the front with Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Felipe Albuquerque leading a Caddy 1-2-3.
Former NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon enjoyed his first race stint in the Wayne Taylor Racing entry which was third after six hours.
Other class leaders including the Performance Tech Motorsports PC entry and the Riley Motorsports Mercedes in GTD with Cooper MacNeil, Gunnar Jeannette, Shane van Gisbergen and Thomas Jäger.
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) January 28, 2017
— SPEED (@SPEED) January 28, 2017