It took until the sixth and final session of the Grand-Am Rolex Series' two day test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Daytona Prototype teams to set their best laps in preparation for the final leg of the inaugural North American Endurance Championship (NAEC) later this month.
With five previous sessions having laid the rubber down on the Grand Prix track at the famous Speedway the honour of fastest lap changed hands several times during the Saturday afternoon session.
When the end of the session came is was the SunTrust Racing crew that set the fastest time – Ricky Taylor setting the best lap of 1:23.962. Taylor not only shared the teams Chevrolet Corvette DP with regular teammate Max Angelelli, but his younger brother Jordan Taylor guested for the team as well as taking stint in his regular Grand-Am ride – the Autohaus Motorsports Camaro.
The younger Taylor, returning to the wheel of the no.88 Camaro after joining Stevenson Motorsport for the previous round at Watkins Glen, was on pace in the GT class, setting the best lap during Friday's second tranche of testing.
“The track was 'rubbering up' a good bit, and the speeds kept getting faster even though the temperatures were climbing,” said Ricky Taylor. “This means a lot to us, especially with our team being based in Indy. We're really looking forward to coming back for the race.”
Ozz Negri put the no.60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley second fastest – the Rolex 24 winner just two tenths slower around the 2.53 mile track. Scott Pruett, who currently holds the championship lead with co-driver Memo Rojas – was third fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing. Joao Barbosa and Darren Law – whose win at Watkins Glen put Action Express Racing in the lead of the NAEC lead – set a best time of 1:24.233 over the weekend, setting the best time of the Saturday morning session as temperatures began to climb towards toward a stifling 100°F.
In the same session Eric Curran set the best lap of the two days among the GT class runners. Curran set the best lap of 1:31.355 in the Whelen Engineering Corvette he shares with Boris Said. Eric Foss was second fastest in Horton Autosport's Porsche. NAEC GT class leaders Robin Liddell and John Edwards set a best lap of 1:32.108 for Stevenson Motorsport.
Testing is set to continue on Monday for four teams to log testing ahead of the NAEC finale on July 27. With the Grand-Am field sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the Kroger SuperWeekend Jamie McMurray and former Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will share the #02 BMW-Riley for Chip Ganassi.
Antonio Garcia is due to test the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP, Alex Popow and Lucas Luhr the Starworks Motorsport #2 and Michael Valiente and Chris Cumming will share the #60 Ford-Riley for Michael Shank Racing.