Friday, February 22, 2019

Albuquerque Shows Speed in Final Practice

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Action Express Racing will begin the 57th Rolex 24 at Daytona having set the pace in the final practice session with Filipe Albuquerque in its No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R.

With a best lap of 1:34.358, Albuquerque held off Olivier Pla in Mazda Team Joest’s No. 55 Mazda RT24-P by a considerable 0.4 seconds.

Pla created a significant gap of his own back to the third-fastest car, the second Cadillac DPi from Action Express, which had Pipo Derani at the controls during its best revolution of the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course Friday morning.

Simon Pagenaud and Rene Rast completed the top five for Team Penske and Mazda Team Joest, with Rast and the No. 77 Mazda DPi lapping 1.072 seconds off Albuquerque’s top time.

Further entries from Cadillac and Acura filled out the remainder of the DPi field, which was down one car during this session due to the absence of CORE autosport’s Nissan Onroak DPi.

PR1 Mathiasen Quickest in LMP2

The newly installed secondary prototype class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was led by Enzo Guibbert in PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ ORECA 07 during Practice 4.

Marking the first session-topping performance for the team of the event, Guibbert’s 1:36.433 lap put the No. 52 entry 0.565 seconds clear of Nicolas Lapierre in the quickest of DragonSpeed’s two cars.

Pole-Sitting Porsche Leads Fourth Practice

Nick Tandy’s top lap in Thursday’s GT Le Mans qualifying was followed by a strong lap from a BMW M8 GTE in night practice, but the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR returned to the top of the class in Practice 4.

A 1:42.478 lap from Tandy’s co-driver Frederic Makowiecki late in the hourlong outing put the Porsche GT Team entry 0.134 seconds ahead of Dirk Mueller in the No. 66 Ford GT, which brought out a red flag three quarters into the session when it stopped on track with Sebastien Bourdais at the wheel.

Jan Magnussen, Richard Westbrook and Chaz Mostert filled the top five for Corvette Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and BMW Team RLL. The entire class lapped within the same second.

Ferrari Tops GTD

The best lap Pedro Lamy turned in the No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 was the best GT Daytona lap of Friday’s practice session and put the car two-tenths of a second clear of its closest competition.

Nick Cassidy, driving the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 from AIM Vasser Sullivan, stepped up to be that competition and led Marco Seefried, Patrick Long and Dominik Baumann in completing the top five in Black Swan Racing, Park Place Motorsports and P1 Motorsports cars.

The entry from EBIMOTORS placed sixth and was the fastest Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and final car to lap within a half-second of Lamy’s class-topping time.

With preparations for the season-opening event complete, the daylong race itself is next for the WeatherTech Championship’s quartet of classes. After live television coverage kicks off at 2 p.m. EST Saturday on NBCSN, the green flag will commence the action at 2:35 p.m.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Duranthttp://aarondurant.com
As editor-in-chief, Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. Aaron prides himself in applying counterintuitive approaches in tandem with an unrelenting care for quality.

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