The GTD field headed out this afternoon for a quick-fire 15-minute session to compete for the best pit boxes and garage positions for race week in Daytona, Meyer Shank Racing’s #57 Acura coming out on top.
Initially, P1 Motorsports took top honours after a 1:45.406 by Dominik Baumann, however, there were question marks from the start as to whether the time would stand, as the session is reserved for Bronze and Silver graded drivers only and Baumann is a Gold.
Baumann’s 1:45.406 was the fastest GTD lap of the Roar to that point, and was 0.131 quicker than the #57 MSR Acura. Unsurprisingly though, shortly after the session, his times were disallowed.
This promoted the #57 MSR Acura NSX GT3 of Ana Beatriz, who set a 1:45.537.
“It’s a pleasure to be here in Daytona for the first time,” she said after the session. “I had the job to qualify today, and they said drive as fast as you can, and that’s what I did. I thought I was P2 which even before the disqualification was still really good.”
Second after the P1 car had its times deleted was the #12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus of Frankie Montecalvo, who came just 0.050 away from handing the team the best pit box and garage for race week.
The second of the MSR Acuras ended up third, with the #33 Riley Mercedes of Ben Keating fourth, after the Texan had spent much of the session atop the times with his 1:45.662. The #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari completed the top five.
It was extremely tight, the top nine in the session bettering the 2018 Rolex 24 GTD pole time set by Daniel Serra, and finishing within four tenths of each other. The top 13 were all within a second too.
21 of the 23 cars on the entry made it out, Paul Miller Racing and Turner Motorsports opting to sit it out.
Spirit of Race looked like it would miss the session too, after Paul Dalla Lana had an off in the fourth test session prior to qualifying, but the team managed to send the car out just before the end to complete two laps. The Canadian ended up 20th.