Porsche on top for first Roar Before the 24 session

Nick Tandy took the top spot with a 1m35.617s lap around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course in the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 that he’ll share with Mathieu Jaminet, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre as the first session of the Roar Before the 24 test days went into the books. The session was the first of five today and tomorrow as IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams prepare for the Rolex 24 At Daytona next weekend, and for qualifying on Sunday.

While Porsche Penske Motorsports had its two cars on track from the beginning of the session, both privateer Porsche 963s were being worked on for half the time or more. The No. 5 Proton Competition car and the No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports 963, next to each other in the garage, were sitting with bodywork off, engines running and surrounded by Porsche personnel.

Richard Westbrook sits ready to go as the JDC-Miller MotorSports crew works on the No. 85 Porsche 963 during the first half of the first Roar Before the 24 test session. Richard S. James photo


The JDC Miller MotorSports 963 emerged from the garage halfway through the 90-minute session. The team reported that the car had undergone a myriad of updates from Porsche since arriving at the track, and in the process two wires were switched. Richard Westbrook and Tijmen van der Helm managed 11 laps in the No. 85, while Neel Jani didn’t get the No. 5 Proton 963 on track until there were less than 10 minutes left in the session and completed only four circuits.

The No. 24 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8 was second quickest in the hands of Augusto Farfus. Farfus was only 0.35s short of Tandy, and 0.101s ahead of Nick Yelloly’s 1m35.753s in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL entry. Two Cadillac Racing V-Series.Rs completed the top five, Alex Palou leading the pair in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry at 1m35.863s and Jack Aitken another 0.166s back in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac. Colton Herta produced the fastest time in the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acuras in sixth.

United Autosports USA announced its entry into IMSA with a 1m39.916s lap by Paul Di Resta in the No. 22 ORECA to lead LMP2. Ferdinand Habsburg-Lothringen was second in the No. 8 Tower Motorsports entry, 0.031s short of Di Resta’s best, with Nicklas Nielsen posting the third-best time in the No. 88 AF Corse ORECA.

Katherine Legge posted the top time of all the GT cars to claim the top spot in GTD at 1m46.289s for Gradient Racing in the No. 66 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. Legge will share the car with Sheena Monk, her full-season co-driver, Tati Calderon and Stevan McAleer.

In a major turnaround from Lamborghini’s form in last year’s Rolex, Lamborghini sat on top the GTD PRO times as Matteo Cressoni posted the best time in the class in the No. 60 Iron Lynx Huracán GT3 Evo2 at 1m46.918s, 0.629s off Legge’s best. The No. 60 was a late switch to GTD PRO; although Claudio Schiavoni is a Bronze-rated driver and thus eligible for GTD in which the car was originally entered, two Platinum-rated drivers on the squad, Matteo Cairoli and Romain Grosjean, make the car ineligible for GTD.

AWA’s Nico Varrone put the No. 17 Corvette Z06 GT3.R in second in GTD, third GT overall, at 1m46.925s. GTD PRO cars took the next three spots, led by Andrea Caldarelli in the No. 19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini only 0.22s behind his teammate. James Calado put the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 in third with a 1m46.942s, and Frederic Vervisch (No. 64) lea his Ford Multimatic Motorsports teammate Harry Tincknell (No. 65) as the two Mustang GT3s were fourth and fifth in GTD PRO.

Antonio Fuoco was third in GTD with the No. 47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 at 1m47.066s, followed by Parker Thompson (No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F GT3) and Jan Heylen (No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R).

UP NEXT: The final WeatherTech Championship session of the day will be a 1h45m split session beginning at 4:15 p.m. ET.



Story originally appeared on Racer