Rolex 24: Richard Westbrook fastest again in second practice

Rolex 24: Richard Westbrook fastest again in second practice

IMSA

Rolex 24: Richard Westbrook fastest again in second practice

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It was a Corvette DP sweep of the top three positions in Thursday’s second practice session for this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona with Spirit of Daytona driver Richard Westbrook taking the top spot again this afternoon. Westbrook’s top lap of 1.39.279 was followed by Action Express Racing’s Christian Fittipaldi (1:39.564) and Alex Gurney (1:39.577) in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing entry.

 

Colin Braun continued to pace the Prototype Challenge class with a time of 1:42.724, which ranked 14th overall among the 65 entries that posted lap times. Braun was followed on the PC chart by Sam Bird (1:42.930) of Starworks Motorsport and longtime open-wheel veteran Bruno Junqueira in the No. 09 RSR Racing entry, who posted a top lap of 1:43.037.

 

Jonathan Bomarito was quickest in GTLM with a top lap of 1:45.016 in the No. 93 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R. Viper teammate Marc Goossens was second in class (1:45.233) and Oliver Gavin took the third spot in GTLM with a lap of 1:45.670 in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R.

 

In GTD Daniel Serra was quickest in the No. 65 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 with a lap time of 1:47.542. Serra was followed on the GTD speed chart by Leh Keen 1:47.874 in the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America and Norbert Siedler in the No. 71 Porsche (1:47.963).

 

The 30-minute session saw two on-track incidents as Andy Priaulx’s No. 55 BMW GTLM car found its way into the tires with minimal damage sustained, and Tom Kimber-Smith  of 8Star Motorsports was also involved in an accident after his engine went off-song. Both drivers were cleared and released from the infield medical care center.

 

ANALYSIS

 

With a slight increase in ambient temperature came a reduction in the gap between DPs and P2s. The 1:39.279-second lap set by the Spirit of Daytona DP was within the ream of the best achieved by the fastest P2 car in fourth place. Olivier Pla clocked a 1:40.440 in his OAK-Morgan, 1.161 seconds arrears, which is an improvement over the 1.5-second gap from P1.

 

The American muscle car domination in GTLM continued, this time with both SRT Vipers sharing the top of the time sheets. Corvette Racing was third, albeit well off of the 10-powered snakes, with a 0.65-second gap to Bomarito’s best lap. With a significant weight break coming into the Rolex 24, more than a few GTLM competitors have expressed their concern about the Vipers being over-advantaged by the most recent BoP. Qualifying will answer whether those concerns are well-founded.

 

GTD was, once again, fairly close at the top, with four marques covered by 0.7sec.

IMSA TUNE-IN:

Tune in for the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona at the following times:

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

2-4 p.m. ET on FOX (Live)
4-9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 (Live)
 
Overnight (Jan. 25-26)
9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ET on IMSA.com (includes live images, in-car cameras and announcers)
 
Sunday, Jan. 26
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. on FOX Sports 1 (Live)

 

Tune in for the Daytona season opener at the following time:

Friday, Jan. 24

6 p.m. on FOX Sports 2 (Same Day)

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