On Friday morning, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams ventured out for one last hour of practice ahead of this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. When the session came to a conclusion, it was Action Express Racing’s Mike Conway that was fastest of all.
Conway turned in a lap of 96.865 seconds (132.308 mph) about 20 minutes into the session to lead the pack. Conway’s lap was one-sixth of a second faster than Jackie Chan DC Micacing JOTA’s Lance Stroll. Spirit of Daytona Racing’s Tristan Vautier was third quickest, followed by René Rast in the repaired No. 77 Mazda. Action Express Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque was fifth.
Tequila Patron ESM’s Pipo Derani was sixth fastest, followed by Acura Team Penske’s Graham Rahal. Jordan Taylor was eighth fastest, while Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Dalziel rounded out the top 10. Just outside the top 10, Antonio Felix da Costa and Austin Cindric tied for 11th quickest.
While the practice session had no red flags, there were a couple of issues. Performance Tech Motorsports’ Kyle Masson spun out entering the infield after setting a quick lap. Luckily, he did not hit anything and continued on his way.
Later on in the session, the No. 32 Ligier of Bruno Senna cut a left rear tire. Senna was able to limp his Prototype back to the pits with minimal damage sustained.
In GT Le Mans, the whole class was clustered relatively close together. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSA’s Joey Hand was quickest with a lap of 104.062 seconds (123.157 mph). If that time and speed looks familiar, well, it is. That is the same exact time that Hand set on Thursday to lead the GTLM class in Practice No. 1.
Hand’s lap was six-hundredths of a second quicker than Porsche GT Team’s Laurens Vanthoor. Teammate Patrick Pilet was third in the No. 911 Porsche, followed by Richard Westbrook in the second Ford GT. Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin was fifth.
The new BMW M8 GTEs have been off the pace for much of the weekend. However, they are beginning to show their sea legs. Philipp Eng‘s best lap was still only eighth quickest in class, but it was only eight-tenths of a second off of Hand’s best lap. The team seems to be getting a handle of the new car.
In GT Daytona, Manthey Racing’s Matteo Cairoli was fastest with a lap of 106.905 seconds (119.882 mph), recapturing the pace shown during the Roar Before the 24. Cairoli’s lap was three-sevenths of a second faster than Riley Motorsports’ Jeroen Bleekemolen in the Client Command Mercedes. Wright Motorsports’ Mathieu Jaminet was third quickest, followed by Christian Engelhart in the No. 19 Lamborghini for GRT Grasser Racing Team. 3GT Racing’s Jack Hawksworth was fifth in the No. 15 Lexus.
Montaplast by Land-Motorsport’s Sheldon van der Linde was the fastest Audi driver in sixth, followed by Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Côme Ledogar in the No. 93 Acura. Paul Miller Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli was eighth, followed by Pedro Lamy and 3GT Racing’s Philipp Frommenwiler.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona is scheduled to go green at 2:40 p.m. on Saturday. Coverage starts on FOX at 2 p.m. and will remain there until 5 p.m. From there, the race will move to a combination of FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports GO. We have the full schedule for the race in the TV Schedule tab at the top of the page.
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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