Action Express, Cadillac DPi-V.R Quickest to Begin December Test

No. 31 Action Express Cadillac DPi during 2016 IMSA December Test at Daytona
Photo: Action Express Racing (Twitter)

Despite major electronic complications during the car’s first day of public on-track running, the new Cadillac DPi-V.R finished both of Tuesday’s sessions at the Daytona International Speedway atop the overall timesheet.

Leading Session 1 to begin the two-day December Test for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R. Joao Barbosa turned a best lap of 1:41.104 on the seventh of the nine total laps that the car would complete in the three-hour session.

A troublesome software update from Cosworth during the night before the all-new Cadillac DPi-V.R turned its first public laps made for a rocky start to the day for Action Express’ pair of cars as well as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing.

Remarkably, Cadillac’s Daytona Prototype international (DPi) machine topped both of Tuesday’s sessions, with Dane Cameron turning the day’s fastest lap in the No. 31 Action Express entry during the afternoon running.

Cameron’s quickest time, a 1:38.766, came on his 19th and final lap of Session 2 and is nearly half a second quicker than the fastest race lap from this past January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, a 1:39.192 set by Pipo Derani.

The No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R of Cameron, Eric Curran, Mike Conway and Seb Morris failed to turn a single lap during Session 1 due to the electronics gremlin, as did Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10.

The No. 10, however, ended Session 2 in the second position at just 0.054 seconds off Cameron’s leading pace and also under Derani’s fastest lap from the 24-hour event held at the track earlier this year.

Barbosa’s best effort in Session 2 ensured both Action Express cars finished the afternoon outing in the top three and was just 0.002 seconds slower than Derani’s reigning fastest lap at the track from the race.

The trio of Cadillac-powered LMP2-style cars managed to sweep the afternoon session after two of the three machines failed to turn a wheel before noon.

Visit Florida Racing’s Marc Goossens edged out Tristan Nunez to put the Daytona Beach-based team’s new Gibson-powered Riley Mk. 30 fourth in Session 2 ahead of the lone Mazda RT24-P present at the test. The Mazda car did not improve upon its time from the morning session before the end of the day while the Visit Florida car improved by more than three seconds.

Mazda’s car became the first DPi to turn a full-speed lap around the 3.56-mile Daytona road course in the early minutes of Session 1.

Though each of the five Prototype class cars at the test remain in development, highly competitive times during their first day at Daytona indicate the increased capabilities of the new machinery and platform for 2017 and beyond.

Corvette Racing Paces GT Le Mans

American manufacturers Chevrolet and Ford took turns leading Tuesday’s sessions in the GT Le Mans category with Corvette Racing prevailing on the combined timesheet thanks to a 1:45.442 from Antonio Garcia at the wheel of the No. 3 Corvette C7.R in the morning.

Richard Westbrook set the pace in Session 2 in the No. 67 Ford GT but was unable to get any closer than two-tenths from Garcia’s Session 1 time.

The No. 66 Ford GT completed a sweep of the Session 2 timesheet for Chip Ganassi Racing but ended up third on the combined timesheet with a best lap of 1:45.654.

The No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM of BMW Team RLL and Toni Vilander in Risi Competizione’s No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE stood as the closest challengers to Corvette and Ford on Tuesday.

GT Daytona Led by Dream Racing

Just like in GTLM, the quickest time in the GT Daytona ranks came in the morning session, during which Lawrence DeGeorge turned a 1:46.957 in Dream Racing’s No. 27 Lamborghini Huracán GT3.

DeGeorge’s lap would stand as the fastest GTD time of the day after it ranked the No. 27 Lamborghini 10th overall in Session 1 among the 27 cars that turned laps.

A mix of GT3 machinery occupied the top of the GTD speed chart from morning to afternoon, with Connor De Phillippi putting the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport on top in Session 2.

Stevenson Motorsports’ No. 6 Audi and the No. 29 of De Phillippi and Christopher Mies rounded out the top three in Session 1 while SunEnergy1 Racing’s No. 75 Mercedes-AMG GT3 joined the No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 in completing the top three in the afternoon.

Testing will pick back up on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. EST.