The 200mph barrier is close to being breached by the new Daytona Prototype internationals. Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R hit 199.5mph during the three-hour morning session and the other Cadillacs weren’t far behind. The No. 5 Action Express Racing DPi-V.R topped the times with a 1m38.499s lap, edging closer to the 1m37s barrier as expected. The lone WEC-spec P2 at the test – Visit Florida Racing’s Riley-Gibson – was 1.9 seconds behind the No. 5 Cadillac. Mazda missed the bulk of the session and continues to work toward addressing gearbox cooling issues.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing continued its pace-setting ways in GTLM with the No. 67 Ford GT (1m45.430s) and was shadowed by the sister No. 66 GT and Risi Competizione’s No. 62 Ferrari 488. FCGR announced earlier today that it would be fielding all four its Ford GT entries in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, for the first time since last June at Le Mans.
GTD saw a carryover from Tuesday afternoon’s session as the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 team remained atop the class (1m46.621s).
With the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R added in at the bottom this morning, take a look at a side comparison of the three Prototypes participating at the December test (the Riley-based Mazda RT24-P is at the top, Riley-Gibson WEC P2 in the middle):
Reigning GT Daytona champion Christina Nielsen will have the documentary captured during her impressive 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title run debut on Dec. 19. For those who are interested, the Dane said it will be available online in her native tongue with English subtitles.
Nielsen also said she won’t have much time to relax before the holidays arrive thanks to college obligations. “I have an exam to do right after this test and then media stuff with the documentary and then we come back here for the Roar, so it will be very busy.”
Teenage racer Austin Cindric, who will join the 3GT Lexus team for IMSA’s endurance events, is another driver with school on his mind.
“I have the midterms to do when I get back from Daytona and a lot of testing coming up,” he added.
NEW AND NEW
Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R is so new, it only completed two slow laps behind a minivan Monday morning for press photos before testing began. Of the three Cadillacs struck my electronic issues caused by a software update, the No. 31 continues to be the hardest hit, but made it out toward the end of this morning’s three-hour session.
In addition to the new Dallara-built chassis, the No. 31 AXR team is also trying out renowned race engineer and designer Ricardo Divila during the test as a candiate to engineer the car driven by reigning Prototype champions Dane Cameron and Eric Curran in 2017.
The Riley-Gibson WEC P2 and the Riley-based Mazda RT24-P make use of a unique engine cover design. Compared to the Dallara-built Cadillac DPi-V.R and most other P2s that have one-piece engine covers, the Rileys employ three separate pieces.
With the stabilizing fin hard–mounted to the chassis, split left and right engine covers attach to either side of the fin. One benefit to the split design is only one mechanic is needed to remove the left or right panel, which saves time and personnel resources.
SPEAKING OF SPLITS
While photographing the diving road-inspired Cadillac DPi-V.R wheels for an upcoming story, it was interesting to see the Action Express Racing team and Wayne Taylor Racing program have different brake vendors (AP for AXR and Brembo for WTR). It’s believed to be a topic of discussion within IMSA.