Race Weekend Central

GT-Le Mans Teams Dominate Short 2nd Practice

After the relatively dry first practice session at Daytona International Speedway, the light rain and mist returned to the World Center of Racing just in time for the 30-minute second practice session.  The result was another session of mixed strategies.

Two red flags cut the actual on-track time down significantly.  First, the Alegra Motorsports “Highway to Help” Riley DPG3-BMW stalled in the bus stop chicane on the backstretch.  Shortly after the green came back out, debris on the frontstretch slowed the action again.  As a result, no car turned in more than seven laps in the session.

With an even wetter track than in the first session, the Michelins exclusive to the GT-Le Mans once again came into their own.  With the start-and-stop feel of the session, it was very difficult to get a clean lap in, but INDYCAR veteran Sebastién Bourdais drove his No. 66 Ford GT for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing to a lap of 1:56.024 (110.460 mph), good enough for fastest overall.  The lap was almost four-tenths of a second faster than Risi Competizione‘s Giancarlo Fisichella in second.  SMP Racing‘s Gianmaria Bruni was third quickest in the No. 72 Ferrari 488 GTE.

The fastest Prototype was SMP Racing’s No. 37 BR01-Nissan, driven by Mikhail Aleshin.  The Russian driver turned in a lap at 1:56.845 (109.684 mph), which was enough for sixth overall.  That time was nearly 1.2 seconds faster than VisitFlorida.com Racing‘s Ryan Dalziel, who was second quickest (eighth overall) in his Chevrolet Corvette DP.  Ricky Taylor was third fastest in class in his Konica Minolta-sponsored entry from Wayne Taylor Racing.

Prototype Challenge saw BAR1 Motorsport‘s Johnny Mowlem take the No. 20 to the top of charts with a lap of 2:00.290 (106.543 mph), good for 13th overall in the somewhat dicey conditions.  That time was 4.1 seconds faster than Performance Tech MotorsportsJames FrenchJDC/Miller MotorSportsStephen Simpson was third in class.

GT-Daytona saw Maxime Martin turned in a lap of 2:01.948 (105.094 mph) to top the charts, actually picking up speed from the first session.  Konrad Motorsport‘s Marc Basseng was a third of a second slower in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3.  Alex Job Racing/Team Seattle‘s Mario Farnbacher and Park Place MotorsportsNorbert Siedler were third and fourth, respectively in their Porsche 911 GT3-R’s, while Richie Stanaway rounded out the top 5 for Aston Martin Racing.

Qualifying is still scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, but that could still be scratched.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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