Valiante Tops Both Sunday Sessions In Daytona Test


Valiante topped both tests for Michael Shank Racing (Photo Credit: Grand-Am)

Michael Valiante set the best time in both of the test sessions on the final day of the ‘Roar Before the 24’ test at Daytona International Speedway.

The Canadian’s performances, setting the fastest lap of the three day event in the morning session with an effort of 1:42.058 around the 3.56 mile Daytona road course. Driving the #6 Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype he will share with Jorge Goncalves, Gustavo Yacaman and Chris Cumming at the Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 26-27) he completed a strong test for the 2012 Rolex 24 winning team, the pair of Michael Shank Racing cars having paced five of the eight sessions in the three day test.

Backing up the team’s superiority over the test A.J. Allmendinger ensured a 1-2 in the morning session, though the #60 car, tested by he, Justin Wilson, John Pew and Marcos Ambrose was only eighth best in the final, hour long session.

Second in the afternoon were defending Rolex Series champions Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Memo Rojas put the #01 BMW-Riley fastest in the session, only for Valiante to lap faster with 20 minutes of the session remaining. Starworks Motorsports’ #2 was third fastest ahead of the 8 Star Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette DP that was the best bow-tie carrier in both Sunday sessions, though only eighth fastest in the morning’s running.

Valiante’s lap bettered the time That Team Sahlen’s Dane Cameron put up on Saturday morning to claim the honour of fastest of the weekend.

However, the GT time from that same Saturday session – Patrick Long for Park Place Motorsports – stood up to a final day’s examination , allowing the Porsche works driver and the team, grown from the Horton Autosport effort of 2012, to leave the with best time in the competitive class.

Sunday’s session topping honours fell to two other Porsche teams – 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona winners Magnus Racing in the morning and Alex Job Racing in the afternoon, ‘winning’ their only session on a weekend dominated by the teams running the Porsche GT3.

Porsche machinery also swept every session in the new GX class being introduced for the 2013 season. However, Napleton Racing missed out on the clean sweep. In another Porsche Cayman BGB Motorsports were fastest in the Sunday morning session, Eric Foss edging out Napleton’s Shane Lewis by just 0.023 seconds.

The teams of the Rolex series will return to action for the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month, the first running on Thursday January 24.