The 45th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona is underway with the field of 70 Grand-Am Prototype and GTs thundering past the circuit's famous branded wall, only for pole sitter Alex Gurney to crash within four laps.

Alex Gurney had converted his pole position into an early lead in his GAINSCO Pontiac Riley, while Max Angelelli and Marc Goosens held onto their second and third places from the grid.

However, with the two classes being started half a lap apart, Gurney came up on the GT class within four laps and got immediately tangled up with a backmarker, who reportedly slowed suddenly when his bonnet flew up, Gurney hitting him and spinning away his lead, causing a puncture and some damage in the process.

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There are have been several other minor incidents through the field as the myriad of cars jostle for early positions but no retirements as yet.

Angelleli in the SunTrust Pontiac has assumed the lead ahead of Goosens in the Lowe's Riley and Brumos' David Donohue in third.

At the front of the GT class, Wolf Henzler has dived into the lead ahead of pole sitter Patrick Huisman and was some three seconds up after the first lap, although with 24 Hours of the race remaining, the cars are already settling into a rhythm.

Stay tuned to for continuous updates through the race.