Conway and Whelan Engineering Racing quickest in final practice

by Tim Lumb

Mike Conway was quickest in the Whelan Engineering Racing Cadillac during the final practice session before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Lance Stroll in second.

The Whelan Engineering Racing team did 27 laps ahead of the 24 hour race tomorrow, where Felipe Nasr will start seventh on the grid. Conway set the fastest lap of 1m36.865s for the fourth practice session.

Stroll set the second fastest time of 1m37.046 in the Jackie Chan DCR Jota’s Oreca LMP2 machine. Fernando Alonso and his United Autosport team-mates were only 16th fastest in the session.

Pole-sitter Renger van der ZandeJordan Taylor and Ryan Hunter-Reay only had 13 laps during the session, the lowest out of all prototype teams that went out on track. Team Penske, who Van der Zande pipped to first in qualifying yesterday, was the fastest Acura DPi team in the practice session, with its #7 car being seventh fastest. 0.028s separated the two in the session, a slightly larger gap than in qualifying.

The #90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac finished third fastest in the session after being the quickest team during the third practice session on Thursday night. They were just ahead of the #77 Mazda Team Joest car, although both teams put in fewer laps than the rivals around them in the practice standings.

The #55 Mazda Team Joest and #54 Core Autosport teams were the only two out of all classes to not run in the session.

In the GTLM class it was the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi team of Sebastien BourdaisJoey Hand and Dirk Muller who set a 1m44.062s lap-time to be quickest, however that came with only five full laps on track. Chip Ganassi’s #67 team were fourth in the class, although only 0.21s separated the two.

It was the two Porsche GT Team entries that split the Fords in lap times, with the #912 of Gianmaria BruniLaurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber the fastest of the two with a 1m44.119s.

GTLM pole-sitter Jan Magnussen and the #3 Corvette Racing team only managed seventh in the practice session although were able to put in 25 laps, the second best amount out of the class behind the #912 Porsche GT Team.

Manthey Racing was the only GTD team to go under 1m47s during the final practice session of the weekend, with Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports just under half of a second slower.

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