Contact between Jeff Gordon, in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona appearance in 10 years, and Tom Long, who’s a full-time sports car veteran with Mazda Motorsports, kicked off a chaotic sequence to the third hour of the race.

Gordon took over the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R from Ricky Taylor under the second full-course yellow, which in itself occurred following a heavy crash by Scott Pruett in the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 at Turn 2. Pruett lost control and came across the road, into the pit exit barriers, but was OK.

The restart occurred just after the start of the third hour with Jules Gounon, the GT Daytona class leader, the leading car behind the safety car.

Gordon and Seb Morris, in the No. 31 Cadillac, split Gounon with Morris going into the lead into Turn 1.

Contact occurred then at the International Horseshoe between Gordon and Long, who was attempting to re-enter the track in the No. 70 Mazda RT24-P.

As Long came back from driver’s left to right onto the racing line, he and Gordon came together as Gordon locked up the brakes and speared Long, sending him off course onto the grass.

The Mazda rejoined, uninjured, but having been assessed a drive-through penalty for being adjudged by IMSA to have run the red pit exit light.

Gordon’s No. 10 Cadillac avoided penalty for the contact, although there was a bit of blame being thrown his way on social media afterwards.

At the two-hour mark the class leaders were the No. 31 Cadillac (P), No. 38 Performance Tech car (PC), No. 66 Ford (GTLM) and No. 29 Land Audi (GTD).

Pato O’Ward, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires veteran, took over the Performance Tech car from polesitter James French.

Tony Kanaan, meanwhile, has become first of the eight full-time IndyCar drivers on board in the No. 69 Ford.

The other seven drivers are Spencer Pigot, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Conor Daly.

While there have been a number of cars with mechanical issues, the No. 24 BMW has become an official retirement. That car featured John Edwards, Kuno Wittmer, Nick Catsburg and Martin Tomczyk in its lineup.

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