Olivier Pla continued to impress at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 by setting the fastest outright lap on Saturday in the Michael Shank Racing Ligier-HPD.
The Frenchman took the top spot with a 1:39.678s effort in the night-time session, edging out the DeltaWing of Katherine Legge by 0.268s.
Legge had topped the first practice session in the Panoz-run prototype, with a time of 1:40.137s, beating the #60 Michael Shank Ligier by less than a tenth, ending the day as the second fastest competitor.
The first session was affected by a thick mass of fog that enveloped the 3.5 mile course at Daytona International Speedway, but once this had cleared all four sessions were able to run as planned.
Wayne Taylor Racing became the first Daytona Prototype team to lead a session, as Ricky Taylor set a 1:40.032s during the day’s second running. This would hold out to be the third quickest time of the day, marginally beating the #70 Mazda of Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez and Spencer Pigot.
In Prototype Challenge it was a lap set early in the day that prevailed over the others: Maro Engel’s 1:43.175s marker aboard the #88 Starworks Motorsport Oreca would not be beaten. Tom Kimber-Smith led the second session with a 1:43.261s for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, while fellow Briton Jack Hawksworth was the pacesetter at night, recording a 1:43.291s in the sister Starworks machine.
The field was again tightly packed in GT Le Mans but after three sessions it was Corvette that laid down the benchmark. Mike Rockenfeller was at the helm for the morning stint and steered the #3 car to a 1:45.256s that would not be beaten by the other manufacturers. Ferrari came close in the afternoon as Alessandro Pier Guidi came within a hundredth of a second of Rockenfeller’s time (finishing second quickest on the day), while BMW Team RLL topped the night session with a 1:45.510s courtesy of Bruno Spengler.
Ford and Porsche were also on the pace with their new GTLM-spec machines, with the #67 Ford GT setting the third quickest lap of the day in the opening session.
Lamborghini Huracan GT3s led all three practice sessions on Saturday in the GT Daytona category. Paul Miller Racing led overall with a 1:48.230s coming towards the end of the night from Mirko Bortolotti. During the day it was Konrad Motorsport leading the order, and Fabio Babini’s 1:48.309s during the afternoon held as the second best lap overall. While Babini also led in the morning, he was pipped to the third quickest time by the #33 Dodge Viper GT3-R.
The Roar Before the 24 continues on Sunday, January 10 with two sessions starting at 10:20 and 14:40 local time.