Mike Conway led Friday’s final practice session for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, turning a lap of 1m36.865s in the No.31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R in the day’s lone on-track activity for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors.
Competitors used the one-hour session to make final changes to their race setups. Many of the teams cycled through all of their drivers, using each pit stop for driver change practice.
Lance Stroll was second fastest in the incident-free session, going 1m37.046s in the No.37 Jackie Chan DCR JOTA ORECA 07-Gibson.
Next was Tristan Vautier in the No.90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1m37.118s, followed by Rene Rast in the No.77 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi, 1m37.178s.
Joey Hand ran only five laps before taking the No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi Ford GT to the garage early in the session. He did manage to set the fastest lap of the GTLM class, 1m44.062s. Hand admitted it was a disappointment to miss the GTLM pole by .019 seconds to Corvette driver Jan Magnussen in Thursday’s qualifying.
“I didn’t quite get all of it in the Bus Stop on my best lap,” Hand said. “You hate to lost a pole at Daytona by that kind of margin. Now, we’re going to polish it up and do some driver changes.”
The Porsche GT Team took the next two positions. Gianmaria Bruni was second in GTLM, 1m44.119s in the No.912 Porsche 911 RSR, followed by Patrick Pilet, 1m44.150s in the No.911.
Matteo Cairoli led GTD, 1m46.905s in the No.59 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, followed by Jeroen Bleekemolen, 1m47.338s in the No.33 Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, and Mathieu Jaminet, 1m47.506s in the No.58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Renger van der Zande – who captured the pole position for the Rolex 24 in sensational style on Thursday – admitted he “slept like a baby” last night. The driver of the No.10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R did spend some time on the phone, though.
“The amount of text messages I got last night, it’s as if I had won a championship,” van der Zande said.
Two of the 50 qualifiers did not participate in the session – the No.54 CORE autosport ORECA 07-Gibson and the No.55 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P.
NEXT UP: Start of the 56th Rolex 24, Saturday, 2:40 p.m. ET.
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