Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi led Action Express' #5 Mustang Sampling Racing entry to victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Sunday night as Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso endured a tough sports car racing debut.

The #5 Cadillac DPi spent the majority of the race fighting at the front of the field, standing firm as the rival pair of Acura-Penske cars and the sister #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac suffered reliability issues through a record distance race at Daytona International Speedway.

Albuquerque, Barbosa and Fittipaldi completed 808 laps in total in a race interrupted by just four Full Course Yellows, comfortably beating the previous record of 762 laps set back in 1992 while avenging their late defeat at the hands of Wayne Taylor Racing in last year's running.

The trio headed up a one-two finish for Action Express as the #31 Cadillac shared by ex-F1 driver Felipe Nasr, Mike Conway, Eric Curran and Stuart Middleton recovered from overheating issues in the final two hours to fend off the #54 Core Autosport Oreca, which was left to settle for third place at the chequered flag.

Fernando Alonso's hopes of a debut podium at Daytona were dashed overnight after recurring braking issues on the #23 United Autosports Oreca, forcing the team into lengthy repairs. Alonso was ultimately classified 38th, 90 laps down on the race winner.

Lance Stroll also suffered a race filled with reliability issues in the #37 Jackie Chan DCR Jota Oreca, but was able to cling on to 15th place alongside Felix Rosenqvist, Robin Frijns and Dani Juncadella.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing took a dominant victory in GT Le Mans as its pair of Ford GTs led all but 10 laps en route to a one-two finish. Victory ultimately went to Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon in the #67 Ford, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sebastien Bourdais taking P2 in the #66 entry. Class pole-sitters Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller wound up third in class in the #3 Corvette, having held onto the coattails of the Fords until the final hour of the race.

GT Daytona proved to be the closest class come the chequered flag as Lamborghini claimed its maiden sports car victory in a 24-hour race, with the customer GRT Grasser Racing Team securing the win with its #11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 shared by Mirko Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen, Franck Perera and Rik Breukers.

 

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