Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mazda Leads Second Roar Day

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Mazda Team Joest kept its speed on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, ending Saturday at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 with a sweep and retaking the fastest lap of the weekend.

Despite appearing to lose some luster to rival Cadillac in Session 4 when Renger van der Zande’s 1:34.534 claimed the top of the combined timesheet, Jonathan Bomarito and the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P roared back under the lights with a 1:34.533.

While not approaching Bomarito’s pace, Oliver Jarvis managed a 1:34.977 in Session 5 to deliver a 1-2 finish for the team. The effort relegated both Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.Rs to third and fourth in the session with drivers Pipo Derani and Mike Conway.

CORE autosport, which is fielding the Nissan Onroak DPi competitively for the first time, joined Mazda and Cadillac in the top five with a 1:35.273. The quick time was delivered by Colin Braun and kept the Wayne Taylor Racing and Juncos Racing Cadillac DPis outside the top five.

Kamui Kobayashi, Agustin Canapino, Dane Cameron, Helio Castroneves and Tristan Vautier completed the top 10 while Simon Trummer brought up the rear of the 11-car class in the No. 84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac.

DragonSpeed Fastest in LMP2

While PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports topped Session 5 with driver Gabriel Aubry behind the wheel of the No. 52 ORECA 07, the team was not the fastest LMP2 competitor on Saturday.

DragonSpeed got up to speed in Session 4 with driver Nico Lapierre turning a 1:36.553 in the No. 81 ORECA, besting Aubry by 0.437 seconds.

Aubry’s lap held on for second fastest overall. The Nos. 18 and 38 flipped positions in Session 5 with the DragonSpeed car outpacing Performance Tech Motorsports by 0.242 seconds.

Porsche 1-2 in GTLM

Similar to Mazda’s success in DPi, the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs went 1-2 in Session 5 with drivers Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.

911 Porsche flies at Daytona
Even though the No. 911 Porsche was fastest in Session 5, it remains second to the No. 67 Ford GT on the combined timesheet. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

Despite the success, only Bamber improved from Session 4 and wasn’t able to climb any higher on the combined timesheet.

Through Session 5, Richard Westbrook’s 1:43.148 set in Session 4 in the No. 67 Ford GT remains the mark to beat in GT Le Mans.

Patrick Pilet’s best lap from Session 4 puts the No. 911 Porsche second overall followed by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastian Bourdais, Bamber and Davide Rigon of Risi Competizione.

Shank Retains Fastest GTD Lap

Heading into GT Daytona qualifying on Saturday, Meyer Shank Racing’s Trent Hindman held the fastest GTD lap. The quick time came in Session 4 with Hindman behind the wheel of the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3.

While Hindman wasn’t able to qualify ahead of teammate Ana Figueiredo, his lap held up at the conclusion of Session 5.

Victor Franzoni, who was fifth fastest prior to Session 5, jumped up to second with a 1:45.842 in the No. 13 Via Italia Racing Ferrari 488 GT3. The lap also topped the Session 5 timesheet.

Matteo Cairoli’s 1:45.919 from Saturday morning’s Session 3 kept Black Swan Racing third overall while Daniel Serra and Maximilian Buhk moved into the top five for Spirit of Race and P1 Motorsports, respectively.

With the completion of Session 5, GTD’s participation in the Roar came to an end. Testing continues Jan. 6 with Session 6 at 10:30 a.m. EST followed by qualifying for GTLM at 11:50 a.m. and prototypes at 12:15 p.m. A final hourlong session after qualifying will wrap up the weekend.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.

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