Jordan Taylor’s last-minute flier resulted in the fastest lap (1m36.970s) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi in Friday’s practice session – the lone on-track activity for IMSA WeatherTech Championship teams preparing for the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Taylor denied bragging rights for DragonSpeed, which had an all-night repair session pay off as Nicolas Lapierre wound up second fastest (1m37.922s) in the No. 81 Gibson-powered Oreca. The car had to switch to a new tub following a crash in Turn 1 late in Thursday’s second practice.
GTLM pole winner Joey Hand led the class in the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT (1m43.490s), followed by Dirk Werner in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR (1m43.543s).
“The car keeps getting better and better,” said Hand, part of the team’s 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning lineup. “It was good in qualifying, but the guys kept tuning on it and it felt even better this morning. Yesterday, it was good for only a lap or two. Now, I think we can drive it this way for a long time.”
Andrea Caldarelli was fastest in GTD in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 (1m47.455s), followed by Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 (1m47.511s). Robert Wickens led PC in the No. 8 Starworks Oreca (1m43.650s).
The one-hour session was slowed by a pair of red flag stoppages, with 51 of the 55 starters participating.
The first red flag of nearly 11 minutes came at the 13-minute mark for the stopped No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.
“We were losing fluid, so as a precaution I shut it off,” driver Toni Vilander explained. “Just a technical issue – no drama.”
Once racing resumed, the red flag waved again only five minutes later, for a 13-minute stoppage involving a pair of incidents. The No. 18 DAC Motorsports Lamborghini of Emmanuel Anassis lost fluid following an incident in Turn 6, and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier of Jose Gutierrez lost a wheel in the infield.
NEXT UP: Rolex 24 At Daytona, Saturday 2:30 p.m. ET.