An early strike from Jan Magnussen during GT Le Mans qualifying for this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona led to the Danish driver securing the class pole for the No. 3 Corvette C7.R.
- RESULTS: 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona Qualifying
Magnussen completed eight laps during the 15-minute qualifying session. His quickest time, a 1:42.779, came on his fourth revolution of the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course.
The feat marks Magnussen’s first Daytona pole, though his sixth since the launch of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Joey Hand in the No. 66 Ford GT came 0.019 seconds short of a second consecutive GTLM pole at Daytona, with the American driver settling for second behind Magnussen at 1:42.798.
Laurens Vanthoor and Patrick Pilet qualified the Porsche 911 RSR duo to the third and fourth positions, with Richard Westbrook reaching the top five in the second Ford GT from Chip Ganassi Racing.
These top five qualifiers were under the previous GTLM lap record at Daytona, a 1:43.385 set during last year’s race by Westbrook himself. Magnussen’s lap was a remarkable 0.606 seconds under the former circuit record.
The new BMW M8 GTE cars, navigating their first race weekend, were mired to the last two positions in the GTLM qualifying results. Alexander Sims and John Edwards, driving the Nos. 25 and 24 BMWs in qualifying, respectively, were 1.169 and 1.634 seconds off Magnussen’s pace.
Serra Swipes GTD Pole
After hovering near the top of the GT Daytona results during Thursday’s pair of hour-long practice sessions, Spirit of Race’s No. 51 Ferrari 488 GT3 was driven to the class pole by Brazilian pilot Daniel Serra.
Miguel Molina of Risi Competizione made it an all-Ferrari front row in GTD, though he was no less than 0.453 seconds off Serra’s pole-earning pace.
Mirko Bortolotti qualified third in the No. 11 Grasser Racing Team entry after the team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3s performed well at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test earlier this month.
3GT Racing’s No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 was qualified to the fourth position by Jack Hawksworth. Alessandro Balzan put a third Ferrari in the top five at 1.006 seconds off Serra’s lap in Scuderia Corsa’s No. 63 car.
The top 15 GTD qualifiers set times within the same two seconds.
A practice session from 6:30–8 p.m. EST on Thursday and another from 9:40–10:40 a.m. on Friday are all that remains for the WeatherTech Championship field before the 24-hour race begins on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2:40 p.m.