Negri Jr puts Michael Shank Racing on Daytona pole

Oswaldo Negri Jr was quickest in qualifying for this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, giving Michael Shank Racing the pole position for the opener of the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship season.

The Ligier LMP2 driver set a best time of 1m39.194s to beat the Scott Dixon Riley Ford Daytona Prototype entry from Chip Ganassi Racing by 0.108s.

The battle for supremacy between the Le Mans Prototype (LMP2) and Daytona Prototype (DP) entries was intense, with the top seven qualifiers ending the session less than seven tenths of a second apart. The second Chip Ganassi Racing entry was third with the best time set by sportscar legend Scott Pruett, while Joao Barbosa of Action Express Racing was fourth.

The DeltaWing-Elan Mazda DWC entry of Andy Meyrick was fifth fastest ahead of Olivier Pla for Krohn Racing, while Ricky Taylor took his Wayne Taylor Racing Dallara into seventh ahead of the Starworks Motorsport entry of Brendon Hartley.

In the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class, Johnny Mowlem was fastest for BAR1 Motorsports with a time of 1m42.318s, which put him twelfth fastest overall. Second in class was the Colin Braun CORE Autosport entry, only 0.180s behind Mowlem.

In the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, Oliver Gavin was quickest in qualifying in his Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs, his 1m43.488s being a Daytona lap record for the class that put him eighteenth overall. He was 0.342s faster than the second place in class AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Gianmaria Bruni.

The sole Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Pedro Lamy was third in class, ahead of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW Z4 GTE of John Edwards, while Jan Magnussen was fifth in the second Corvette Racing entry.

In the GT Daytona (GTD) class, James Davison took the honours, setting a best time of 1m47.272s in the leading Aston Martin V12 Vantage, his fifth consecutive USC GTD pole position. He was 0.152s faster than Jeroen Bleekemolen in the Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper.