Daytona Test: Olivier Pla Goes Quickest on Opening Day

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Olivier Pla set the pace on the opening day of the IMSA Roar Before the 24 test, as Michael Shank Racing topped both sessions at Daytona International Speedway.

The Frenchman’s 1:39.445s effort in the afternoon was enough to place the Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 at the top of the prototype standings.

The second fastest time of the day also came courtesy of a Ligier, with Pipo Derani setting a 1:40.328s for Extreme Speed Motorsports, also in the afternoon.

Sean Rayhall, who is new to the Panoz DeltaWing Racing lineup, placed the unique Elan-powered machine third overall with a 1:40.420s 18 laps into the same session.

Fourth fastest, and the leading Daytona Prototype on the day, was the Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette driven by Jordan Taylor.

Taylor’s 1:40.474s lap was three tenths of a second quicker than the rival #5 Action Express Racing DP, which edged out the #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford DP in the afternoon session. Action Express driver Joao Barbosa did have an off-track moment at the chicane, but the car was able to continue.

The same could not be said for the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford, which had to withdraw from the second session after Lance Stroll crashed at the beginning of his morning stint. The Canadian teenager was taken to the on-site medical centre and released without injury.  

CORE Autosport led the way in Prototype Challenge thanks to a 1:42.423s effort from Mark Wilkins during the afternoon. Second quickest was the #8 Starworks entry which set its time in the first session, while BAR1 Motorsports finished the day third in class.

BMW was the top GTLM manufacturer (Photo courtesy of IMSA)

On the opening day of GTLM testing it was one of the brand new cars that topped the order, as Lucas Luhr set a 1:42.088s benchmark in the #25 M6 GTLM.

Augusto Farfus made it a double success for the German manufacturer as the DTM star set the fastest lap of the afternoon session and the second quickest overall.

The Brazilian’s 1:45.150s lap edged out the Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller Corvette by a whisker – 0.014s to be precise, as the familiar C7.Rs impressed at the top of the order.

Ford and Ferrari also followed closely, while the two Porsche 911 RSRs rounded out the GTLM field.

In GT Daytona it was a Ferrari that took the top spot on day one, courtesy of a 1:48.358s lap from Spirit of Race driver Raffaele Gianmaria.

The Italian was nearly three tenths quicker than the #33 Viper of Jeroen Bleekemolen, while the #28 Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 was third in class.

Roar Before the 24 Practice 1 Results

Roar Before the 24 Practice 2 Results

The Roar Before the 24 at Daytona will resume tomorrow morning at 09:00 EST (January 9). For a full list of session times, see The Checkered Flag’s full preview of the Roar.

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