Valiante Leads Rolex 24 Second Practice

by James Broomhead
After leading the 'Roar Before the 24' Valiante returned to the top of the times (Photo Credit: Grand-Am)

Michael Valiante returned the Michael Shank Racing #6 Ford-Riley to the top of the Rolex Series timesheets in the second practice session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Valiante’s time – in the car he shares with Chris Cumming, Jorge Goncalvez, and Gustavo Yacaman – was, at 1:42.122, some distance short of the 1:40 that led the opening practice. However, it was still good enough to depose Jamie McMurray from the top of the times after the NASCAR Sprint Cup regular – and 2010 Daytona 500 winner – had leapt to the top of times early in the session after he and the rest of #02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team had been forced to sit out the entire opening practice session.

Dane Cameron set the second fastest time, the Team Sahlen man demoting McMurray’s time to third fastest by the end of the half hour session.

A.J. Allmendinger – in the #60 Michael Shank Racing car of the defending race winners – Highway to Help’s Ian James and the Starworks Motorsports’ #2 entry completed a top six entirely occupied by Riley chassis – variously Ford or BMW powered. 8 Star Motorsports were, in seventh, the best of the Corvette DP teams though, with a best lap of 1:43.032, were still within a second of Valiante’s session topping time.

Porsche GT3 occupied the top four slots in GT, led by Nick Tandy with a best lap of 1:48.299 in the Konrad Motorsport/Orbit Porsche. Sean Edwards put the MOMO sponsored NGT Motorsport entry second fastest with Andy Lally again the fastest man in the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche in third fastest ahead of the #23 Alex Job Racing entry.

Robin Liddell had put the Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro on top for much of the session after an early lap. However, the Scot’s best time (1:49.187) would only put him sixth fastest at the fall of the checkered flag.

Shane Lewis was the fastest in the GX class making its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, his lap of 1:54.162 for Napleton Racing over five seconds faster than Darryl O’Young for Bullet Racing.

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