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IMSA Daytona 24 Hours

Stunning Porsche Rolex 24 comeback halted by technical gremlin at Daytona

Porsche’s Nick Tandy stormed back into contention for the overall lead fight in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, only for his 963 to be struck by a technical failure that sent it to the garage.

#6 Team Penske Porsche 963: Mathieu Jaminet, Nick Tandy, Dane Cameron

Tandy was fighting back after losing four laps this morning when his #6 car – which he shares with Mathieu Jaminet and Dane Cameron – was forced off track at The Kink, damaging the car’s front and rear as he spun through the grass at high speed.

Later on, with 2hr 45mins to go, Tandy stopped on track at the exit of Turn 1 for a power recycle. He rejoined after losing 40secs, getting back up to speed, only for a loud bang to be heard from the in-car camera footage as he drove around the Superspeedway banking of NASCAR Turn 2, and white smoke was emitted from the back of the car.

Tandy stopped again on the approach to the Le Mans chicane, having been told to shut down the car’s engine, and then he drove slowly back to the pits on electric power only.

Mechanics went to work at the rear of the car, rather than in the engine bay ahead of it, but soon made the call to push the car into the garage.

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963: Nick Tandy

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963: Nick Tandy

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Prior to this, Tandy stormed to the head of the GTP pack after the previous restart – passing Louis Deletraz’s Wayne Taylor Racing Acura for fourth position overall, and overtaking the three cars that were two laps ahead of him, including Simon Pagenaud in the leading Meyer Shank Racing Acura.

That meant Tandy was just one lap down on those leaders when the major problem struck, ending Porsche's slim victory chances once and for all. The #6 car is now tumbling down the order, where it will soon join its #7 sister car, which has been plagued by technical issues and lost 35 laps while its electrical storage system was replaced.

“Having to replace the battery was unfortunate, but it solved the problem with our #7,” said Urs Kuratle, director of Porsche’s LMDh project. “[When running] the performance is good. The Acura is certainly the fastest car in the field, but I see our Porsche 963 right behind it.

“Unfortunately, we and BMW suffered the most damage, Cadillac and Acura had significantly less. All in all, we lost too much time in the pits and the garage.”

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