Nasr Puts Whelen Engineering On Top in Roar Before the 24 Qualifier


Whelen Engineering ended the Roar Before the 24 test with fastest time in the qualifying session ensuring it has the best pit garage for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Felipe Nasr, piloting the #31 Cadillac DPi-V.R, set a fastest time of 1 minute 35.806 seconds during the 15 minute session and headed a Cadillac lockout of the top four places.

The final session of the Roar Before the 24 saw the teams battle out at qualifying speeds and the final standings would determine the pit garages the teams will receive for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Second fastest was the #90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac with Tristan Vautier at the wheel finishing the session 0.231 seconds slower than Nasr, as the teams set the fastest times seen all weekend.

Third and fourth places went to the #5 Mustang Sampling and defending Daytona 24 winner #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillacs.

The first non-Cadillac was the first of the new Penske Acura machines with Dane Cameron in the #6 heading the team’s sister #7 car but even they were 0.5 seconds behind the slowest Cadillacs.

The Cadillacs were quickest in every session throughout the three days of the Roar Before the 24, with all four teams topping the times in at least one session.

This is a worry for rival competitors and looks likely to be a repeat of last years event which was a Cadillac walkover.

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time for his #23 United Autosport Ligier entry qualifying 12th quickest with a time of 1 minute 37.515 seconds.

In GTLM Joey Hand gained top honours for Ford as he qualified the #66 Ford GT with a 1 minute 43.610 second time just edging out the #4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin by 0.030 seconds.

Corvette had closed the gap between them and the Ford and Porsche teams throughout the weekend with the fastest Porsche being the #912 of Earl Bamber qualifying fourth just ahead of the second Corvette, the defending race winner Antonio Garcia.

The top six GTLM cars qualified within one second.

In GTD the #11 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan continued it dominance of the weekend at Mirko Bortolotti taking top honours with a time of 1 minute 47.374 seconds.

Bortolotti was 0.060 seconds quicker than the #44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 of Andy Lally in the a field where 18 cars were all within a second of the fastest time.

The 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona will take place on 27th and 28th January. For hourly coverage of the event check out the Checkered Flag.