Race Weekend Central

Luca Mars, Chad McCumbee and Scott Andrews Top ROAR Pilot Challenge Sessions

Session No. 3

Saturday morning saw KohR Motorsports’ Luca Mars replicate the strong pace from Friday morning. He was fastest overall in the session with a lap at 113.243 mph in his Ford Mustang GT4.

Mars’ lap was .122 seconds faster than McCumbee-McAleer Racing with Aerosport’s Chad McCumbee. PF Racing’s Zane Smith completed a Ford 1-2-3. BGB Motorsports’ Spencer Pumpelly was fourth in his Porsche, while CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing’s Jeff Westphal was fifth.

Lone Star Racing’s Scott Andrews was sixth in his Mercedes, while Automatic Racing’s Tom Long was seventh. TeamTGM’s Owen Trinkler was eighth, while NOLAsport’s Elliott Skeer and TeamTGM’s Matt Plumb rounded out the top 10.

In TCR, Road Shagger Racing’s Jon Morley, driving a first-generation Audi RS3 LMS TCR, was quickest with a lap at 108.572 mph, good for 30th overall. Morley’s lap was nearly a full second faster than the Alfa Romeo of KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering’s Tim Lewis Jr. LA Honda World Racing’s Mike LaMarra was third, then Bryan Herta Autosport’s Harry Gottsacker. HART’s Mario Farnbacher was fifth.

IMSA MICHELIN PILOT CHALLENGE ROAR BEFORE THE 24 SESSION NO. 3 RESULTS

Three teams did not go on track during the session. Rennsport One’s Porsche for defending BMW M Endurance Challenge winners Eric Filguerias and Stevan McAleer were one of them.

VGRT’s Honda for Victor Gonzalez Jr. and Karl Wittmer, who were fastest in TCR in both sessions on Friday, did not practice, along with LA Honda World Racing’s No. 37 for Ryan Eversley and Mat Pombo. In Eversley and Pombo’s case, a pesky oil leak kept the car off the track for the majority of the three sessions to this point of the weekend.

Session No. 4

Saturday afternoon saw rain showers move into Daytona. With next to no precipitation in the forecast for next weekend at the moment, 20 of the 43 teams in Daytona chose to skip the session.

There was some trouble in the session as well. The red flag was displayed with 20 minutes to go when Ave Motorsports’ Alfredo Najri crashed his Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO.

The wet weather slowed the pace by more than 10 seconds. Andrews ended up fastest with a lap at 104.301 mph to top the session.

Andrews’ lap was .558 seconds faster than Winward Racing’s Daniel Morad. Jensen Altzman was third in the McCumbee Ford, then Mars and Turner Motorsport’s Cameron Lawrence.

Robby Foley was sixth in the second Turner BMW, followed by PF Racing’s Ben Rhodes. Rebel Rock Racing’s Robin Liddell was eighth, followed by Conrad Grunewald. Najri ended up 10th in the session, having set his best time the lap before the crash.

In TCR, only three teams set an official time in the session. The fastest of those was the No. 37 Honda of Eversley, who set a lap at 98.124 mph (17th overall). Eversley’s lap was .083 seconds faster than JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Chris Miller, driving the new generation Audi RS3 LMS. Gottsacker was third fastest.

IMSA MICHELIN PILOT CHALLENGE ROAR BEFORE THE 24 SESSION NO. 4 RESULTS

Session No. 5

The final session of the weekend Sunday (Jan. 22) saw McCumbee put his Mustang at the top of the chart with a lap at 112.107 mph, roughly a second slower than the best time on Saturday. Mars’ lap of 113.374 mph from Friday ultimately held up to be the fastest lap of Michelin Pilot Challenge testing.

McCumbee’s lap was .118 seconds faster than Van der Steur Racing’s Wyatt Brichacek. Rhodes was third in his Mustang, then CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing’s Sean McAlister, who was quickest early on. Morad was fifth.

Wilsports’ Kris Wilson was sixth in his Mercedes, then Mars and BGB Motorsports’ Jeroen Bleekemolen. Murillo Racing’s Kenny Murillo and Liddell were ninth and 10th, respectively.

In TCR, VGRT’s Victor Gonzalez Jr. was quickest for the third time this weekend with a lap at 107.505 mph, good for 29th overall. Gonzalez’s lap was .026 seconds quicker than LaMarra. Robert Wickens was third in his Hyundai Elantra N TCR, followed by teammate Michael Lewis. Eversley was fifth.

IMSA MICHELIN PILOT CHALLENGE ROAR BEFORE THE 24 SESSION NO. 5 RESULTS

For the weekend in TCR, Gonzalez’s lap from Friday afternoon at 108.606 mph held up as the fastest lap. The lap is an unofficial track record for the class at Daytona, roughly one-tenth of a second faster than Mikey Taylor‘s pole position from 2021.

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge teams will be back on-track Wednesday for opening practice for the season-opening BMW M Endurance Challenge. Frontstretch will be on-site in Daytona to bring you all the action.

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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