Saturday, July 20, 2019

CORE Leads Night Practice


Due to a quick lap under the Daytona International Speedway lights from Loic Duval, CORE autosport checked the box of setting the pace in an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session with its newly acquired Nissan Onroak DPi.

The No. 54 Nissan DPi fielded by the former LMP2 entrant landed at the bottom of the DPi field in qualifying which preceded night practice but surfaced as the fastest machine in the penultimate outing before the daylong race.

Duval executed a 1:34.786 lap of the 3.56-mile road course on the car’s 33rd of 35 total laps, distancing himself as well as co-drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Romain Dumas from the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R by 0.119 seconds.

Filipe Albuquerque in that Cadillac DPi also set his quickest time on the car’s final laps of the day to place second, 0.221 seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves in Team Penske’s No. 7 Acura ARX-05.

A further 0.029 seconds back was the second Acura DPi, the No. 6, driven to its fastest revolution by NTT IndyCar Series regular Simon Pagenaud. Kamui Kobayashi in fifth was the second-fastest Cadillac driver. This top five was covered by 0.588 seconds while the nine DPi cars that participated in the session were split by 2.054 seconds.

After earning the overall Rolex 24 pole with a new track record, Mazda Team Joest was absent during the session.

Hanley Paces LMP2

Ben Hanley was 1.735 seconds back from the fastest DPi time but made himself the quickest LMP2 driver in the cockpit of DragonSpeed’s No. 81 ORECA 07.

Beyond outpacing the three other LMP2 cars, Hanley’s 1:36.521 lap put him ahead of Cadillac-powered DPi entries from Juncos Racing and JDC-Miller Motorsports.

Pastor Maldonado, Enzo Guibbert and Kris Wright were the other three drivers to set the fastest laps in their respective LMP2 machines.

BMW Surfaces at Night

Augusto Farfus put a BMW M8 GTE atop the GT Le Mans division as day turned to night at Daytona.

On the 23rd of 35 laps for the No. 25 BMW Team RLL entry, Farfus lapped the road course in 1:43.315 to outpace Porsche GT Team pilot Patrick Pilet by a mere 0.002 seconds.

Oliver Gavin gave Corvette Racing a representation near the top of the timesheet with the third-fastest time while Scott Dixon and Joey Hand competed the top five in Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GT duo.

Despite the chart-topping speed shown by their sister cars, the second cars from BMW and Porsche were sixth and ninth in the nine-car class, respectively. Chaz Mostert brought up the bottom of the class’ results in the second BMW at 0.427 seconds back from his teammate Farfus.

Turner Quickest Among GTD Battle

Just as in GTLM, a BMW showed its strength under the lights in GT Daytona with veteran driver Bill Auberlen delivering the fastest lap in the class to Turner Motorsport.

Auberlen’s top time in the team’s BMW M6 GT3 was a 1:45.165, which is quicker than the GTD pole time set earlier in the day and was good enough to create a 0.109-second gap to Daniel Serra and the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3. Only in GTD was the night practice pace quicker than that of qualifying, which saw lap records be set in all four WeatherTech Championship classes.

Matt Campbell was third for Park Place Motorsports. Victor Franzoni and Mirko Bortolotti completed the top five for pole sitters Via Italia Racing and the Grasser Racing Team.

The top 15 GTD cars were within the same second while the entire 23-car field was split by 1.717 seconds during this nighttime running.

After Friday’s 10–11 a.m. EST practice, only the twice-around-the-clock race remains. The green flag will fly at 2:35 p.m. with live television coverage set to open at 2 p.m. on NBCSN.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. As editor-in-chief and an avid reader, Aaron enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.


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Acura DPi in 2019 Long Beach GP IMSA qualifying

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