Saturday, April 20, 2019

Tandy Captures GTLM Pole at Daytona

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A new track record for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s premier GT category was a side effect of Nick Tandy’s run to the GT Le Mans pole for the 57th Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Late in his seven-lap outing on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course, Tandy executed a 1:42.257 lap in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, toppling Jan Magnussen’s 1:42.779 effort that lasted a single year.

This year, Magnussen and the No. 3 Corvette C7.R could do no better than come within 0.326 seconds of the pole, earned by Tandy and to be enjoyed by his co-drivers Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki.

While the entire nine-car GTLM class was split by 0.982 seconds, the frontmost two rows were covered by 0.455 seconds. Beyond Tandy and Magnussen on Row 1, Ryan Briscoe and Davide Rigon were third and fourth for Chip Ganassi Racing and Risi Competizione.

A drafting strategy on the high banks of Daytona among Corvette Racing went the way of the No. 3 of Magnussen with the No. 4 of Oliver Gavin rounding out the class in ninth.

The No. 4 Corvette was the only car slower than the two BMW M8 GTEs, qualified by John Edwards and Connor De Phillippi.

Gomes Secures GTD Pole

Brazilian driver Marcos Gomes put Brazilian team Via Italia Racing on the pole with a faster qualifying lap than the 22 other GT Daytona entries.

Early in the GTD outing, Gomes officially toppled the class’ Daytona lap record set a year ago. Though his closest competitors matched that feat as their first flying laps were turned in, Gomes returned the Via Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 to the top spot with a 1:45.257 on his fourth trip around the circuit.

Ben Keating slotted into second, 0.067 seconds behind Gomes in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, but Gomes’ performance went unchallenged.

Marcos Gomes laps Daytona in Via Italia Ferrari
Marcos Gomes delivered the best GTD starting position to Via Italia Racing for the 2019 Rolex 24. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

Qualifying third was Trent Hindman in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 from Meyer Shank Racing. Hindman held off the Lamborghini Huracan GT3s from EBIMOTORS and the Grasser Racing Team, which placed fourth and fifth.

Gaps of less than 0.1 seconds between positions six through 16 demonstrate the competitive nature of GTD and helped the top 13 cars lap within the same second.

With the grid set for the Rolex 24, final preparations are all that remains on the schedule before the race itself. A night outing from 7–8:30 p.m. EST will compete Thursday’s running before all four WeatherTech Championship classes return to the track at 10 a.m. Friday.

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. An avid reader, Aaron enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.

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