A brief review of the happenings and, in particular, the times achieved, by the 55 cars on the entry for the IMSA Roar Before the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Speedway, the three day test concluding yesterday ahead of the race proper in three weeks time.
You can also catch up via the daily highlights programme from Radio Le Mans’ Shea Adam, available to listen online or to download from here
Prototype: 12 Cars
#2: Tequila Patron ESM – Scott Sharp /Ryan Dalziel /Luis Felipe Derani – Nissan Ligier DPi
#5: Action Express – Joao Barbosa/ Filipe Albuquerque/ Christian Fittipaldi – Cadillac Dallara DPi
#10: Wayne Taylor Racing – Ricky Taylor / Jeff Gordon/ Jordan Taylor/ Max Angelelli – Cadillac Dallara DPi
#13: Rebellion Racing – Neel Jani/ Stephane Sarrazin/ Sebastien Buemi – Oreca 07 Gibson
#22: Tequila Patron ESM – Ed Brown/ Johannes van Overbeek/ Bruno Senna – Nissan Ligier DPi
#31: Action Express – Eric Curran/ Dane Cameron/ Seb Morris/ Mike Conway – Cadillac Dallara DPi
#52: PR1/ Mathiasen – RC Enerson/ Tom Kimber Smith/ Mike Guasch/ Andrea Gutierrez – Ligier JS P217 Gibson
#55: Mazda Racing – Tristan Nunez/ Jonathan Bomarito/ Spencer Pigot/ Ben Devlin – Mazda RT 24P DPi
#70: Mazda Racing – Tom Long/ Joel Miller/ James Hinchcliffe/ James Hinchcliffe – Mazda RT 24P DPi
#81: Dragonspeed – Henrik Hedman/ Nico Lapierre/ Ben Hanley – Oreca 07 Gibson
#85: JDC/ Miller Motorsports – Mathias Beche/ Chris Miller/ Misha Goikhberg/ Stephen Simpson – Oreca 07 Gibson
#90: Visit Florida Racing – Marc Goosens/ Renger van der Zande – Riley Multimatic Mk 30 Gibson
#2: Tequila Patron ESM. Best time: 1:39.654 (Set by Pipo Derani in Session 6) 12th Fastest in class.
The car sat out a lengthy portion of Saturday’s running while the team completed an engine change, which meant it failed to set a time in both the third and fourth sessions.
In the end, the best time set by Pipo Derani came in Session 6 on Sunday, when the Brazilian ran a second quicker than its previous best from Saturday night which was set by Ryan Dalziel.
#5: Action Express. Best time: 1:38.693 (Set by Joao Barbosa in Session 7) 5th Fastest in class.
#10: Wayne Taylor Racing. Best time: 1:38.951 (Set by Ricky Taylor in Session 7) 8th Fastest in class.
Whilst the major headlines in this effort are around Jeff Gordon’s drive, the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours will mark the final race of Max Angelelli’s long professional racing career. A tribute to Max’s efforts will be on DSC later this week.
#13: Rebellion Racing. Best time: 1:38.408 (Set by Sebastien Buemi in Session 7) 3rd Fastest in class.
#22: Tequila Patron ESM. Best time: 1:39.654 (Set by Pipo Derani in Session 6) 11th Fastest in class.
#31: Action Express. Best time: 1:38.902 (Set by Dane Cameron in Session 7) 6th Fastest in class.
#52: PR1/ Mathiasen. Best time: 1:38.596 (Set by Alex Gutierrez in Session 7) 4th Fastest in class.
#55: Mazda Racing. Best time: 1:38.363 (Set by Jonathon Bomarito in Session 6) 2nd Fastest in class.
The #55 had a far more trouble-free run through the ‘Roar’ than its sister car and in the process, ran quickest through the speed trap on Sunday running at 194.3mph. In that session Bomarito also set the car’s quickest time, just 0.020 off the best time of the weekend at Daytona.
#70: Mazda Racing. Best time: 1:39.574 (Set by Joel Miller in Session 4) 10th Fastest in class.
Sporting a revised grey livery ahead of the 24 Hours during the ‘Roar’ and managed a total of just 111 laps. The car’s time at the event proved problematic it lost almost the entire first test session on Friday due to installation checks, a portion of the Session 2 with suspension issues, skipped the damp Session 3 and underwent a gearbox change which forced it to garage sit for the entirety of Session 6.
Despite its setbacks though, the car ran quickly, ending up fourth overall during Session 4 in which Joel Miller set its most competitive time.
#81: Dragonspeed. Best time: 1:38.343 (Set by Ben Hanley in Session 6) Fastest in class.
#85: JDC/ Miller Motorsports. Best time: 1:39.167 (Set by Stephen Simpson in Session 7) 9th Fastest in class.
#90: Visit Florida Racing. Best time: 1:38.922 (Set by Rene Rast in Session 6) 7th Fastest in class.
PC: 5 cars
#8: Starworks – Ben Keating/ Sean Rayhall/ Robert Wickens/ Remo Ruscitti – Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet
#20: BAR1 – Don Yount/ Buddy Rice/ Mark Kvamme/ Gustavo Yacaman/ Chapman Ducote- Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet
#26: BAR1 – Johnny Mowlem/ Tom Papadopoulos/ Nicholas Boulle/ Adam Merzon/ Trent Handyman – Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet
#38: Performance Tech – Clark Topper/ Kyle Masson/ Patricio O’Ward/ James French – Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet
#88: Starworks – Alex Popow/ Scott Mayer/ James Datson/ Sebastian Saavedra – Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet
#8: Starworks. Best time: 1:43.320 (Set by Ben Keating in Session 6) 3rd fastest in class.
#20: BAR1. Best time: 1:43.865 (Set by Gustavo Yacaman in Session 2) 4th fastest in class.
#26: BAR1. Best time: 1:42.701 (Set by Johnny Mowlem in Session 2) 2nd fastest in class.
#38: Performance Tech. Best time: 1:41.888 (Set by James French in Session 6) Fastest in Class.
It was a tough ‘Roar’ for the Performance Tech crew, which lost most of Friday’s track action after crashing out of Session 1. The team did however bounce back later in Saturday, running fastest in PC, before setting its fastest time in the final session on Saturday night.
The team’s driver lineup, which at the moment consists of Clark Toppe, Kyle Masson, Patricio O’Ward and James French, may not be final however, with a new fourth driver a possibility for the race.
James French and Kyle Masson will fly straight from Florida to Dubai where they are set to take part in the new 24H Series for small prototypes in a Ginetta G57 P2. The pair then due to sample two different Chevy V8-engined prototypes in a matter of days.
#88: Starworks. Best time: 1:44.089 (Set by Saavedra in Session 1) 5th fastest in class.