The Porsches jumped from the second GT row to P2 and P3 at the start, the #62 Ferrari remaining in the lead and Ryan Briscoe falling to fourth in the #67 Ford GT. Ricky Taylor led overall after the first lap, followed by Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller in the Mazdas.
The two Action Express Corvette DPs collided in Turn 14 with 2 hr 26 min left (out of 2:45), but both remained in competition. The #31 received a drive-through penalty for initiating the contact.
Twenty minutes into the race Taylor led Nunez by 2.244 sec, Vilander (#62) led Patrick Pilet (#911 Porsche) by 1.560 sec, Frederic Makowiecki (#912) another 2 sec back. A full-course caution came out at 2:05 when Marc Goossens spun the #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP. Sean Rayhall was running fourth in the #0 DeltaWing.
The prototype field pitted under the yellow. Taylor returned to the track first, followed by Joao Barbosa in the #5 Action Express entry and Eric Curran in the #31 Action Express. GTLM stops followed. Giancarlo Fisichella (#62) leading Nick Tandy (#911) and Earl Bamber (#912) out.
Racing resumed at 1:49, the #60 Michael Shank Racing entry and the DeltaWing coming together exiting Turn 1. The #60 had to come to a stop just off circuit after trying but failing the clear a WeatherTech sign from his windscreen. The race returned to caution.
The green flag flew at 1:41. Tandy passed Fisichella to take the GTLM lead. With 1:20 to go Taylor led Barbosa by 3.146 sec, Curran another 4.501 sec back. The #55 Mazda retired with 1:19 left. Tandy was 0.422 sec in front of Fisichella, Bamber in third by 0.949.
Fisichella shouldered #911 wide the next lap around, taking the lead. In the meantime, Tom Long (#70 Mazda) moved into third overall, passing Barbosa after the latter was hit by a GT Daytona competitor.
Taylor’s lead had grown to 13.349 sec with 1 hr to go. Fisichella pitted from the lead at 58 min, handing the car back to Vilander. The two Porsches came in on the next lap. The Ferrari maintained its lead, the Porsches getting stuck exiting the pits behind a GTD car. Taylor pitted from the overall lead 6 min later. The #10 retained the point, the #31 and #70 in tow.
With 40 min left Taylor led Cameron by 14.172 sec. Vilander had 8.170 sec on Tandy and another 3.460 on Bamber. Taylor spun at 37 min while exiting the final corner behind a GTD battle, cutting his lead to 4.504 sec. Miller spun the #70 while trying to pass Bamber, ceding third to Barbosa.
The #62 pitted from the lead with 26 min to go after losing power on course. The stop moved Tandy into the lead, followed by Bamber and Antonio Garcia (#3 Corvette). Taylor led Cameron by 2.039 sec and Barbosa by 33.118 sec with 20 min to go. Tandy held a 0.672 sec. lead on Bamber, with Garcia another 5.429 sec arrears.
With 16 min left the #31 had closed to the tail of the #10. Bamber passed Tandy for the GTLM lead, the positions switched by the team.
Taylor won by 1.421 sec over Cameron, with Barbosa taking third. Bamber topped GTLM, beating teammate Tandy and Garcia’s Corvette.
Bamber had this to say regarding repeated contact between Fisichella and the Porsches: “For me there’s nothing personal. Let’s say certainly he likes to race hard and he likes to race aggressively. You know, when have two different cars and the same person keeps getting bumped, then maybe you should look at the other guy. When the same guy keeps crashing always, and with different people, and then you wonder why there’s always a small incident…Certainly the racing was a bit cleaner this weekend. I think the IMSA officials are doing a great job trying to police it, to allow us to race as cleanly as possible. What’s really important is that the drivers have the freedom and the knowledge that they can race each other hard. I think what we saw today was some good hard racing. If you look at it, I think the Ferrari did have the pace over us and they were very, very unlucky to have the problems they did or they would have taken victory today. And certainly they’ve been quick at all times this season and certainly deserved it. It was real shame for them, but hopefully they have a strong run at Petit [Le Mans].
1. Jordan Taylor (US), Ricky Taylor (US); #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP
2. Dane Cameron (US), Eric Curran (US); #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
3. Joao Barbosa (Portugal), Christian Fittipaldi (Brazil); #5 Action Express
1. Renger van der Zande (Netherlands), Alex Popow (Venezuela); #8 Starworks Motorsports
2. Tom Kimber-Smith (Great Britain), Robert Alon (US); #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports
3. James French (US); Nicholas Boulle (US); #38 Performance Tech Motorsports
1. Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Frederic Makowiecki (France); #912 Porsche North America 911 RSR
2. Nick Tandy (Great Britain), Patrick Pilet (France); #911 Porsche
3. Antonio Garcia (Spain), Jan Magnussen (Denmark); #3 Corvette Racing C7.R
1. Jens Klingmann (Germany), Bret Curtis (US); #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3
2. Bryan Sellers (US), Madison Snow (US); #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3
3. Alessandro Balzan (Italy), Christina Nielsen (Denmark); #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.