Defending race winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates set the best time of the daylight running on the second day of the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
The #01 Ford EcoBoost-Riley was fastest in the day’s second session with a best time of 1:38.980 – still fractionally slower that the day one pace set by Action Express Racing. Having been dominated by the Corvette DPs on the opening day the Chip Ganassi Racing team were closer to the pace at the start of Saturday’s running, ending the first of the day’s session second fastest as Spirit of Daytona Racing repeated the Friday afternoon form by setting the early pace on 1:39.196.
However, what should have been a positive day of the Ganassi squad ended with the team announcing they would not be testing into the final day after engine problems with the EcoBoost engine. CGR have moved from BMW to Ford powerplants over the winter.
While they struggled in the third session the best time was – again – by the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, though their 1:39.353 was still slower than the #01 had managed earlier.
Daytona Prototype chassis were a constant at the top of the timesheets, the best time for a P2 car coming in the morning session from Extreme Speed Motorsports’ #1 HPD. However that effort was only good enough for sixth behind a quintet of Daytona Prototype machinery. The DeltaWing set a best time of 1:40.508.
Starworks Motorsport – who continued to add driving talent to their roster with Ana Beatriz announced during the day – were the fastest PC car, Sam Bird #8 leading the class in the first session with a time of 1:42.010. 8Star Motorsports and CORE Autosport led the class in the subsequent sessions.
Corvette Racing led the GTLM field in all three sessions. The #3 car – shared by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe – was fastest in both the first two sessions with their teammates – Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Robin Liddell – taking over for the final day time session.
The Corvette pace was further backed up with the #3 car second fastest in that session, just as the #4 car had been in the second period. The #4 team were third fastest in the opening session, the Aston Martin Racing Vantage splitting the pair of C7.Rs. The much vaunted competitive nature of the class seems to have survived the transition into the TUDOR Chammpionship unscathed with the top half a dozen in every session covered by less than a second.
There was a similar – if not greater – level of competition on show in the GTD class with ten cars covered by less than a second in the fastest day session for the class. Snow Racing’s Porsche was fastest with a lap of 1:48.228 ahead of the day one leaders – Flying Lizard Motorsports’ #35 Audi R8 LMS.
Another three Porsches, Audi, three Ferraris and an SRT Viper all crammed in to next second, Riley Technologies’ Viper closing out the class top ten in the session.
However, while the best time was slower the crowding at the top end of the GTD times was even worse (or better) in the first two sessions. Earlier in the day Alex Job Racing’s Porsche had been fastest in class in the first session, a 1:48.269 leading a top 19 in the same session. The top 18 were covered by the same span in the second session, Paul Miller Racing’s Audi leading the field.
Saturday’s running at the Roar Before the 24 concludes with a night session, with two sessions scheduled for Sunday January 5.