The battle between the GTLM brands has been incredibly fierce but defending race winners Corvette Racing remain in contention as the the race enters its second half.
Jan Magnussen ran strongly in second just before the half way mark but a slow pit stop and driver change put Antonio Garcia on the back foot – pushed back to eighth.
The Spaniard later had to fight back again after he was spun after contact by Ferrari driver Olivier Beretta near the 11 hour mark after the 16th yellow flag stoppage of the race.
“The balance of the Corvette is quite good but right now we are struggling a little bit right when the tires are new on a restart or after a pit stop,” Magnussen said.
“It takes a little while to get a good balance. But after that and as soon as the tire comes up, everything comes together and the car is fast in the second part of the stint. It’s a struggle in the first half. So far so good. We’ve managed to stay out of trouble. It’s all pretty good.”
While the No.3 crew were on the receiving end of some contact, the No.4 car with Tommy Milner at the wheel was on the opposition end of an incident.
“That second triple stint… I wasn’t as happy with that one. I made one small mistake early; I locked the right-front really early in a brake zone and made contact with one of the Porsches,” Milner said.
“Fortunately it was door-to-door. There wasn’t any damage to his car or any to ours, so we got away with one. I was a bit more careful after that and wasn’t trying to be racey at all.
“I know it’s early but these things happen sometimes. But the rest of it was just in traffic. We’re all really close in speed and are racing well together.
“It feels like we’re all in the same mindset right now… nothing stupid and make our way through traffic as best we can. That’s good for now. We’re all kind of sizing each other up and finding out where we’re good and where we’re not, and vice versa.”
With a little over 11 hours to go, Marcel Fassler sat third aboard the No.4 Corvette while Garcia was sixth in the No.6 entry. Remarkably the top eight GTLM cars all remained on the lead lap.