Day 2 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 is now over, and once again it was Mazda leading the way in the times, with Jonathan Bomarito setting the best time of the day in the night session.
It was a day which saw the times tumble up and down the order, much of the field lapping faster than the best times from race week last year.
Here’s a summary of each session:
Tincknell breaks 1:35 barrier in Session 3
The first session of the day saw Mazda run fastest once again, Harry Tincknell edging closer to the overall track record which is a 1:33.875 set by PJ Jones back in 1993 driving a Toyota Eagle MK III.
Tincknell’s time was a 1:34.925 early in the session, in the #55 Mazda Team Joest DPi, and was a sign of things to come as the DPis continued to go quicker as the day wore on.
Behind, Fernando Alonso put Wayne Taylor Racing’s #10 Cadillac second, with a 1:35.052, the Spaniard unable to get under the 1:35 mark. Completing the top three was the second of the Joest Mazdas, six tenths adrift from the lead car.
During the session, the Juncos Racing team hit trouble, Will Owen involved in a collision with the Starworks Audi R8, which left the crew with work to do on the front-end before the fourth session.
The best of the LMP2 runners ended up 10th overall, the PR1 ORECA again topping the times with a 1:36.643 from Matt McMurry.
GTLM saw Mathieu Jaminet top the times with a 1:43.862 in the #912 Porsche, just 0.007 seconds faster than Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette.
GTD meanwhile, was headed by Black Swan Racing and Matteo Cairoli, the Italian setting a 1:45.919 benchmark time, 0.026 quicker than the #96 MSR Acura of Trent Hindman.
After the session, the GTD runners were able to stay out for a further 15-minute reserved for Silver and Bronze drivers only.
Wayne Taylor Caddy paces Session 4
After Tincknell laid down the gauntlet with his fast time in the morning session, Renger Van Der Zande responded in the afternoon with a rapid 1:34.534, edging ever closer to the record in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi.
The best of the Acura Team Penske ARX-05s ended up second, four tenths back after a 1:35.017 by Ricky Taylor.
Mike Conway put Action Express into the top three with a 1:35.304, ahead of the #55 Joest Mazda which ended up fifth fastest after a 1:35.3 by Olivier Pla.
The best of the LMP2 pack was DragonSpeed for the first time in the fourth session, Nicolas Lapierre reeling off a 1:36.553 in the #81 ORECA.
In GTLM Porsche and Ford made up the top four in the class, the #67 Ganassi GT leading the way with a 1:43.148 from Scott Dixon (the fastest GTLM time of the Roar thus far), 0.075 up on Patrick Pilet who put the #911 Porsche second. The #66 and #912 ended up third and fourth in the class respectively.
GTD saw Trent Hindman emerge as the fastest man on track with a 1:45.533 in the #86 Meyer Shank Acura, his time almost eight tenths clear of the sister car which slotted in second.
Further down the order in GTD, there was late drama for the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari which hit the barriers at the second horseshoe head-on, Paul Dalla Lana aboard at the time, bringing out red flags in the closing minutes of the session.
Bomarito puts Mazda back on top in night session
Jonathan Bomarito set the fastest time of the day in night practice to finish off Saturday’s action, the American going 0.001 faster than Van Der Zande’s 1:34.534 driving the #55 Joest Mazda, to put the Japanese marque atop the combined times once again.
His time was over six tenths clear of the rest of the DPi pack. The #31 Action Express Cadillac came closest, Pipo Derani managing a 1:35.179 to break up the Mazda deadlock and demote the #77 Joest Mazda to third.
In LMP2, the #52 PR1 ORECA was back on top, with the best time of 1:36.990 from Gabriel Aubry, over half a second up on Ben Hanley’s time in the first of the DragonSpeed ORECAs, which ended up second, ahead of the Performance Tech example in third.
The #18 DragonSpeed ORECA, which was delayed en route to the circuit yesterday, came just 1.7 seconds off the top P2 time in fourth, after 25 laps of the circuit.
Porsche finished 1-2 in GTLM, the #911 ahead of the #912, with the best time coming from Nick Tandy, a 1:43.402, which was not quite the quickest GTLM time of the Roar, but close.
Best of the rest was the #67 Ford, Scott Dixon putting the Ganassi car within four-tenths of the lead Porsche.
Ferrari ended the day on top in GTD, the #13 Via Italia 488 GT3 completing a 1:45.842 tour of the circuit with Victor Franzoni at the wheel, to go just under two tenths quicker than the #71 P1 Motorsports Mercedes that came in second.
The #57 MSR Acura, which topped GTD Qualifying, ended up third, ahead of the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari that finished up the night fourth.
The final day of IMSA WeatherTech action begins at 10:30 am tomorrow with the sixth test session. Only the DPi, LMP2 and GTLM cars will take part in Sunday’s sessions.