Oliver Jarvis put Mazda Team Joest at the top of the time sheets in the opening session of the Roar Before the 24, the mandatory test session for those wanting to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of the month, while Kamui Kobayashi did likewise in the second session on Friday.
Jarvis set a best lap of 1:35.989 during the first session around the Daytona International Speedway in the #77 Mazda RT24-P, 0.418 seconds ahead of Jordan Taylor in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, while the #55 Mazda of Harry Tincknell completed the top three.
Felipe Nasr, driving the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac that he helped take the Drivers’ Championship in 2018, was fourth fastest, with the top five being rounded out by the sister #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac of Filipe Albuquerque.
Juncos Racing, making their debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2019, set the sixth fastest time of the session with Will Owen behind the wheel of the #50 Cadillac, with Tristan Vautier seventh fastest for JDC-Miller Motorsports.
Acura Team Penske had a low-key first session to finish eighth and tenth respectively, Ryan Taylor setting the best time in the #7 in eighth, with Juan Pablo Montoya completing the top ten in the #6, the Acura’s either side of the #84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac of Simon Trummer.
Only two of the four LMP2 entrants took to the track, with the two DragonSpeed entries failing to take to the track after issues getting their equipment through customs, but Gabriel Aubry was quickest of those who did appear in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca ahead of Kris Wright in the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca.
Patrick Pilet put the #911 Porsche on top of the GT Le Mans class ahead of the sister #912 of Earl Bamber, while the #66 and #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT’s of Dirk Mueller and Ryan Briscoe were third and fourth.
Risi Competizione rounded out the top five with Davide Rigon, just ahead of the #3 Corvette Racing machine of Jan Magnussen, with the #25 BMW Team RLL, #4 Corvette and the #24 BMW completing the nine car GTLM field.
Jeroen Bleekemolen was fastest in the GT Daytona class in the #33 Riley Motorsports – Team AMG Mercedes, just ahead of Pedro Lamy in the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari, with another Ferrari, the #63 Scuderia Corsa of Toni Vilander third fastest.
Bill Auberlen put the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW fourth in class, with Jack Hawksworth finishing fifth in the #14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus.
The second session of the day saw Kobayashi hit the front in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac with a time of 1:36.696, just 0.008 seconds clear of the #55 Mazda of Jonathan Bomarito, while the second Mazda of Timo Bernhard completed the top three.
Juncos Racing ended fourth in the hands of Agustin Canapino, just ahead of Helio Castroneves in the #7 Penske and Nasr’s #31 Cadillac.
Aubry was again quickest in LMP2 for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, with the #81 DragonSpeed finally getting some track time after their earlier issues to finish second in the hands of Ben Hanley. Unfortunately, the sister #4 DragonSpeed Oreca failed to appear on track.
Risi Competitione topped GT Le Mans with Rigon behind the wheel, just ahead of Briscoe in the #67 Ford and Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette as the two Porsches slipped to fourth and fifth respectively, the #911 still ahead of the #912.
Bleekemolen was again quickest for Riley Motorsports – Team AMG in GT Daytona ahead of Daniel Serra in the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari and Jens Klingmann in the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW, with Katherine Legge putting the all-female #57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura into fourth place ahead of Hawksworth’s Lexus.
Rain struck the Daytona circuit in the second half of the session, limiting running for many and causing a few of those who did venture out onto the track to either spin or run through off track.