Allmendinger Leads Saturday Grand-Am Test For Michael Shank

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger stole the fastest time at Grand-Am's 'Roar Before The 24' test event at Daytona, his best time on Saturday (1:40.661) eclipsing Scott Pruett's time from the first day of testing.

Allmendinger – driving for Michael Shank Racing – backed up that lap – set in the first session of the day by putting the no.6 Ford-Dallara back at the top of the times for the series' night practice on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. It was a performance that led team owner Michael Shank to dub Allmendinger – who shares the car with Michael McDowall and Justin Wilson – a “rock star”.

A total of four sessions were run during a busy at the event – a preview, as the name suggests for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Kiwi Scott Dixon topped the second session for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, while Ryan Dalziel led the penultimate session for Starworks Motorsport.

“I think we’re better on long runs than short runs,” Dalziel commented. “We don’t have anything trick in the car. We’re working on running our race pace, so I’m pleasantly surprised we’re this quick at this point.”

TRG – The Racer's Group – dominated the day in the GT ranks, Andy Lally and Wolf Henzler leading the first and last session of the day respectively in the team's no.67 Porsche 911 GT3.

“We’re all taking our turn,” Lally said, after topping the morning runs. “Scott and Wolf were quick yesterday, and I got in a good lap this morning – not quite as fast as Spencer’s [teammate Spencer Pumpelly] from yesterday, though. Yesterday I only ran a few laps shaking it down. When I got in today, I could tell that all the advances they had made the car a lot more comfortable so I could get in a good lap. The car is really strong. We’re really pushing it here to see what we’ve got, so when we come back here for the Rolex 24 we will be ready for it.”

The intervening two periods gave Dominic Farnbacher the chance to lead the day's third session in the no.66 Porsche – another TRG entry. Andrew Davis led the second session for Brumos Racing, also in a Porsche 911 GT3.