Valiante Sets Weekend's Fastest Time In Sunday Morning Session
Fords scored a top-three sweep in Sunday morning’s “Roar Before the Rolex 24” Rolex Series practice, led by Michael Valiante posting the fastest lap of the three-day test – 1:42.058/125.58 mph – in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley.
AJ Allmendinger was second in the team’s No. 60 Ford/Riley (1:42.634/124.87 mph), followed by Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 2 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley (1:42.636/124.87 mph).
Al Carter led GT with a lap of 1:49.592/116.94 mph in the No. 45 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3, followed by Rui Aguas in the No. 56 AF-Waltrip Ferrari 458 Italia (1:49.604/116.93 mph), and Nicolas Armindo in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 (1:49.657/116.87 mph).
Eric Foss prevailed in a back-and-forth battle to lead the GX class. Foss ran a lap of 1:56.492/110.02 mph in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman, to edge the similar No. 16 Napleton Racing entry of Shane Lewis (1:56.515/109.99 mph).
Michael Shank Racing Remains At Top Of Rolex Series Charts
Michael Shank Racing's quest to repeat as Rolex 24 champions continued its strong start as AJ Allmendinger set the fastest time in Saturday's third practice with a lap of 1:42.296 (125.283 mph) in the No. 60 Ford/Riley. This marked the third time in five sessions that a Shank car set the fastest time, with Michael Valiante posting the fastest time in the No. 6 Ford/Riley one session earlier.
Michael Christensen set the fastest time in GT turning a lap of 1:49.420 (117.127 mph) in the No. 32 Konrad Motorsport/Orbit Porsche GT3. Christensen's lap came in the final five minutes of the session, knocking Robin Liddell in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro from the top spot.
In GX it was Shane Lewis in the No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman who turned the fastest lap, with a lap of 156.222 (110.272 mph).
Defending Rolex 24 Winners Fastest In Second Saturday Session
Last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona winners haven’t lost their moxie. Michael Shank Racing and Magnus Racing posted the fastest times in their respective classes in Saturday’s second practice during the Roar Before The Rolex 24.
Michael Valiante set the best time a 1:42.160 (125.45 mph) in Michael Shank Racing’s No. 6 Ford/Riley. Riley chassis held the top six positions although Ford and BMW power alternated spots. Juan Pablo Montoya was second-quickest for TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates at 1:42.463 (125.08 mph). AJ Allmendinger was third in Michael Shank Racing’s No. 60 Ford/Riley, just 0.322 seconds behind the No. 6 team car.
Andy Lally was the fastest GT driver in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. His lap of 1:49.128 (117.44 mph) was 0.338 seconds quicker than Nick Tandy in the No. 32 Konrad Motorsport/Orbit Racing Porsche. Spencer Pumpelly was third in class at 1:49.550 (116.99 mph) for Park Place Motorsports in its No. 73 Porsche.
In GX, Nelson Canache posted the best time in class for Porsche Napelton Racing at 1:56.451 (110.05 mph). Canache and the No. 16 Porsche Cayman were 1.313 seconds clear of Ryan Eversley in BGB Motorsports’ Porsche Cayman GX.R.
BMW, Porsche Sweep Saturday Morning Session At Daytona
Dane Cameron led a trio of BMWs atop the time sheets to kick of Saturday’s test sessions for the Roar Before the Rolex 24. In GT, it was Patrick Long’s Porsche GT3 Cup leading the way, while another Porsche, the Caymen driven by Shane Lewis, topped the GX times.
Driving the No. 42 Team Sahlen BMW/Riley, Cameron laid down a 1:42.101 (125.52 mph) early and could not be bested by either of the Target/TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Rileys, which came on strong late in the one hour and 45 minute session.
Long’s time of 1:48.569 (118.045 mph) in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup led a train of three Porsches for the best GT time of the session.
The new GX category was led by Shane Lewis, who turned a 1:56.592 (109.92 mph) in the No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Caymen
The next Rolex Series test session at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. (ET). Live timing and scoring is available on grand-am.com.
Allmendinger Picks Up Where He Left Off, Fastest On Day 1
Defending Rolex 24 winners AJ Allmendinger and Andy Lally led their respective classes in Friday afternoon’s second and final practice session to open the Roar Before the Rolex 24.
With the track dry following a damp morning sessions, the afternoon times were fastest of the opening day of the three-day test in preparation for the Jan. 26-27 Rolex Series season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Allmendinger led the Daytona Prototype competitors with a lap of 1:42.918 (124.53 mph) in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Memo Rojas (No. 01 BMW/Riley) and Dario Franchitti (No. 02 BMW/Riley).
Lally paced the GT contingent, running 1:49.322 (117.23 mph) in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3.
David Donohue was fastest in the debut of the GX class, running 1:57.466 (109.10 mph).
McMurray Paces Opening Rolex Series Session At Roar Before the Rolex 24