The GT Daytona weekend at Daytona International Speedway went Meyer Shank Racing’s way with the fastest and third-fastest laps in Roar Before the Rolex 24 qualifying.
While the other three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes will qualify on Sunday, GTD’s four test sessions culminated in the class’ 15-minute qualifying session.
Despite being topped by Dominik Baumann in the No. 71 P1 Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, the final results went Shank’s way due to a penalty. Rules in place for 2019 stipulate that only Silver- and Bronze-rated drivers can qualify. Baumann has a Gold rating.
With Baumann’s laps removed, Ana Figueiredo’s 1:45.537 moved to the top of the leaderboard, granting the best garage and pit locations for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona to the No. 57 Acura NSX GT3.
AIM Vasser Sullivan, new to the series this year but fielding the proven Lexus RC F GT3, slotted into second with driver Frankie Montecalvo. The driver, who will partner with Townsend Bell for the full season, was just 0.050 seconds off Figueiredo’s pace.
Trent Hindman added a second Shank Acura to the top three with a 1:45.657, 0.120 seconds shy of his teammate’s best lap.
Ben Keating and Jeff Westphal added Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari to the top five, making it four different manufacturers in the group.
The top nine, separated by just 0.452 seconds, was completed by Montaplast by Land-Motorsport’s Daniel Morad, Black Swan Racing’s Marco Seefried, Victor Franzoni of Via Italia Racing and Richard Heistand in the second AVS Lexus.
Both the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 did not turn qualifying laps.
Matteo Cairoli topped Saturday morning’s test session for Black Swan Racing. Immediately before qualifying, Hindman turned the fastest GTD lap of the weekend in Session 4.
The Roar continues Saturday at 6:45 p.m. EST with a 75-minute test session.