Defending Rolex 24 Winners Allmendinger, Lally Fastest In Opener Of Three-Day Roar Testing.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2013) – One year later, 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona winners AJ Allmendinger and Andy Lally have lost none of their speed at Daytona International Raceway as both drivers topped their respective GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series classes in the opening day of Roar Before the Rolex 24 testing.
On a day that started with rain and progressively dried out, both drivers set their fastest time in the afternoon session, with Allmendinger pacing the lead Daytona Prototype class and Lally topping the production-based GT. David Donohue led the way in the debut of the GX category.
Returning to the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley, Allmendinger turned a lap of 1:42.918 (124.526 mph) at the tail end of his 12-lap stint early in the afternoon. That was enough to hold off both of the Target/TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates BMW/Rileys by the end of the two hour and thirty minute afternoon session.
“The track was a little damp,” Allmendinger said. “The race line, for the most part, was dry, but if you put a wheel wrong, especially early in the session, and got onto the wet, you had a chance to wreck the race car. There’s no need for that in the first 30 or 40 minutes into a test. It’s just about patience.”
Rejoining Magnus Racing behind the wheel of the No. 44 Porsche GT3, Lally topped the GT field with a 1:49.322 (117.232 mph), a mere 0.01-seconds ahead of Alex Job Racing’s Marco Holzer in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3.
Napleton Racing was the class of the new GX field. Donohue clocked a 1:57.466 (109.104 mph) in the team’s No. 16 Porsche Cayman.
In the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Andrew Aquilante made the most of his No. 35 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru WRX-STI’s all-wheel drive on the damp track, topping both practice sessions in the GS class. His fastest lap, a 2:06.773 (101.094 mph), came in the afternoon session.
Jeff Mosing led the ST field in the No. 56 RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing BMW 328. Mosing turned a 2:14.775 (95.092 mph) on his final lap around the circuit. Two more days of Roar Before the Rolex 24 are on tap. Tomorrow’s testing begins at 9 a.m. ET and includes four Rolex Series sessions and two Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge sessions. Live timing is available at grand-am.com.