Saturday (Jan. 21) dawned dreary but dry at Daytona International Speedway. That allowed the 61 teams in attendance to get more time in on-track. In the afternoon, rains moved in. Before the rains fell, Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Colin Braun turned in the fastest lap of the weekend at 134.851 mph.
Session No. 3
During the early test session, all the best laps were turned in during the first 10 minutes of the session. BMW M Team RLL’s Connor de Phillippi and Cadillac’s Sebastien Bourdais were quick early on, but Tom Blomqvist set the fastest time of the session at 134.392 mph.
Braun’s lap was .130 seconds quicker than Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Louis Deletraz. Porsche Penske Motorsports teammates Nick Tandy and Felipe Nasr were third and fourth, while Bourdais was fifth.
LMP2 was topped by PR1 Mathaisen Motorsports’ Nicolas Lapierre with a lap at 129.616 mph, good enough for 10th overall. Lapierre’s lap was a quarter of a second faster than TDS Racing’s Mikkel Jensen. AF Corse’s Nicklas Nielsen was third, then High Class Racing’s Ed Jones. Era Motorsport’s Ryan Dalziel was fifth.
The 90-minute session had one red flag. Proton Competition’s Fred Poordad stopped in turn 7 and had to be removed from the track. After a 30-minute stint in the garage, the ORECA 07-Gibson returned to finish the session.
Andretti Autosport’s Dakota Dickerson was fastest in LMP3 with a lap at 124.848 mph, good for 19th overall. Dickerson’s lap was .613 seconds faster than Andrew Wojteczko Autosport’s Matt Bell. Sean Creech Motorsports’ Nico Pino was third, then Performance Tech Motorsports’ Cameron Shields. MRS GT-Racing’s Guilherme de Oliveira was fifth.
In the GT ranks, Inception Racing’s Frederic Schandorff turned in the fastest GT lap of the weekend at 119.953 mph (29th overall) to lead the GTD class. Schandorff was a half-second faster than Team Korthoff Motorsports’ Kenton Koch. Magnus Racing’s Spencer Pumpelly was third, then VasserSullivan’s Kyle Kirkwood and Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR’s Ryan Briscoe.
GTD Pro was led by TeamTGM’s Owen Trinkler with a lap at 119.375 mph, good for 31st overall, but over a half-second slower than Schandorff. Trinkler was just .025 seconds quicker than The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn. VasserSullivan’s Mike Conway was third in his Lexus, then WeatherTech Racing’s Jules Gounon. Iron Lynx’s Andrea Caldarelli was fifth in the best of the Lamborghinis.
Session No. 4
The 60-minute second session, held immediately after the VP Racing SportsCar Challenge event, was held under threatening skies. As a result, teams tried to set their best times as soon as possible.
Once again, the Acuras were quickest. Braun set the fastest lap of the weekend 16 minutes into the session. Braun’s lap was .118 seconds quicker than Brendon Hartley in the WTR Acura. BMW M Team RLL’s Philipp Eng was third, followed by teammate Nick Yelloly. Michael Christensen in the No. 7 Porsche was fifth.
Crowdstrike Racing by APR’s Ben Hanley was fastest in LMP2 with a lap at 129.936 mph, good for 10th overall. Hanley was two-thirds of a second faster than TDS Racing’s Rinus VeeKay. Tower Motorsports’ Kyffin Simpson was third, then High Class Racing’s Raffaele Marciello. AF Corse’s Julien Canal was fifth.
Sporting the American flag motif, Pino was fastest in LMP3 with a lap at 124.474 mph, good for 14th overall. Pino’s lap was a mere two-thousandths of a second faster than Andretti Autosport’s Gabby Chaves. Riley Motorsports’ Josh Burdon was third, then FastMD Racing’s Yu Kanamaru and MRS GT-Racing’s Sebastian Alvarez.
In the GT ranks, Magnus Racing’s Nicki Thiim was fastest of all GT drivers in 29th overall with a lap at 119.468 mph. Thiim’s lap was .039 seconds faster than Team Korthoff Motorsports’ Maximilian Goetz. VasserSullivan’s Aaron Telitz was third, then Winward Racing’s Russell Ward and SunEnergy1 Racing’s Kenny Habul.
TeamTGM’s Hugh Plumb was fastest in GTD Pro with a lap at 119.431 mph, 30th overall and .033 seconds slower than Thiim. Plumb’s lap was .137 seconds faster than both VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth and The Heart of Racing’s David Pittard. Hawksworth set his time first, so he gets credit for second.
Session No. 5
The rain that had been predicted all day showed up with five minutes remaining in Session No. 4. It all but didn’t affect that session, but the rain kept up through a IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge session and into the night session.
The conditions were bad enough that IMSA chose to throw the red flag 14 minutes into the session. After a brief interruption, the session resumed with a limited number of teams taking part.
Almost none of the GTP teams got out there until the rain stopped and the track began to dry out. Tandy put himself on top of the charts just after the halfway point of the session. As the track continued to dry, he improved to a lap at 120.671 mph.
The majority of the session saw the LMP2 teams on top. Lapierre was fastest early on, then TDS Racing’s Job van Uitert. Eventually, Dalziel turned in a lap at 115.714 mph, good for third overall.
In LMP3, FastMD Racing’s Antonio Serravalle was fastest with a lap at 111.070 mph, good for 10th overall. Serravalle’s lap was 1.198 seconds faster than de Oliveira. These teams were the only ones in the class to set official times.
Gounon was quickest in GTD Pro with a lap at 109.460 mph, 12th overall. Gounon was 1.020 seconds faster than Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia. Pepper was third, then Pfaff Motorsports’ Klaus Bachler. Risi Competizione’s Daniel Serra was fifth.
Finally, Inception Racing’s Marvin Kirchhoefer was fastest with a lap at 109.209 mph, 13th overall. Kirchhoefer was 1.270 seconds faster than Iron Lynx’s Raffaele Giammaria. Antonio Fuoco in the Cetilar Racing Ferrari was third, then the BMW of Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow. Pumpelly was fifth quickest.
With the wet weather in play, only 27 of the 61 teams set representative times during the session. Three others (the Penske No. 7, TDS Racing No. 11 and the SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes) did venture on the circuit, but only competed out laps.
All that remains in Daytona for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams in Daytona this weekend is qualifying for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The session is scheduled to begin at 1:25 p.m. ET. It will be streamed for free at IMSA.com and on Peacock for subscribers.
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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