A Jaguar XJR-9 driven by Jan Lammers, Davy Jones and Raul Boesel led by six seconds a third of the way through the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race Saturday night.
As the twice-around-the-clock event reached the eight-hour mark at 11:38 p.m. at Daytona International Speedway, the Jaguar team was being challenged by the Nissan ZXT shared by Geoff Brabham, Chip Robinson, Arie Luyendyk and Michael Roe. At 10 p.m. the Jaguar had led by a lap, but a full course caution for a stalled car closed up the field and erased that advantage.The two lead cars ran a lap by themselves.
For about two hours immediately after sunset the two Grand Touring Prototype teams had swapped the lead regularly until the Nissan slowed slightly with a gearbox problem.
At eight hours the leaders had completed 264 laps on the 3.56-mile road course.
The opening stage of the race was marred by a crash that sent Porsche driver Mauro Baldi to a nearby hospital with a possible concussion and broken ankle. Baldi slammed almost head-on into Turn 3, a corner known as "The International Horseshoe." The wreck was attributed to brake failure.
Listed in positions three through five at eight hours were the Porsche teams of Price Cobb, John Neilsen and Andy Wallace; Derek Bell, John Andretti and Bob Wollke; Bruce Leven, Rob Dyson, Dominic Dobson and John Paul Jr.
Leaders in other classes were:
GTO - Pete Halsmer, Bob Earl and Paul Stewart in a Cougar XR-7.
GTU - Bob and Butch Leitzinger and Chuck Kurtz in a Nissan 240SX.
Among the teams from the glamor GTP division pitting with problems was the Mazda 767B outfit of Elliott Forbes-Robinson, the Lake Norman driver.