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Vautier Fastest In Night Practice

Ford 1-2 in GTLM

Spirit of Daytona ran fastest in the first night running of the 2018 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona this evening, the team’s new Cadillac setting a 1:37.215, with Tristan Vautier at the wheel.

Second in the running in the red-flags interrupted session was the #7 Penske Acura, which will start this weekend’s race second on the grid. Helio Castroneves was again the car’s fastest driver, setting a 1:37.413 in his ARX-05. The #22 ESM Nissan, which had its off in Qualifying, took to the track in Night Practice, and finished up third, Pipo Derani setting the crew’s best time, the 2016 Rolex winner reeling off 1:37.517.

Behind, it was a better session for the #23 United Autosports Ligier, which finished a noteworthy fourth in the running, Lando Norris setting a 1:37.557. The #37 Jackie Chan DC ORECA completed the top five with a 1:37.612.

In the prototype ranks, two cars had issues causing red flags, the Performance Tech ORECA (which will start the race fourth) stopped out on track after running out of fuel, and the JDC Gainsco ORECA had a blowout late in the session while on the banking with Gustavo Menezes at the wheel. The American did very well to keep the car out of the wall and the Mercedes AMG GT3 he was lapping at the time.

The GTLM class was topped by Ford, its two its two GTs finishing 1-2 atop the times, the #66 leading the #67, Sebastien Bourdais the quickest of the six drivers, lapping the circuit in 1:43.675. Best of the rest was the Risi Competition Ferrari.

Grasser Racing topped GTD with its #11 Huracan, which will start at the back of the grid after a post Qualifying penalty, Mirko Bortolotti, who qualified the car, setting a 1:47.513. Scuderia Corsa’s #64 Ferrari ended up second, just 0.061 off the best time, ahead of the Magnus Racing Audi that completed the top three.