Two cars missed Friday morning’s final practice session before the Rolex 24 At Daytona – the No.55 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi and the No.54 CORE autosport ORECA 07-Gibson.
John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, explained that the engine change was similar to the one performed on the team’s No.77 DPi on Thursday.
“We weren’t happy with some things we saw on the data, so we want to be as cautious as we can,” Doonan said. “Our goal is for Sunday afternoon, to be competing there at the end, so we are taking no chances. We’ve had a strong pace – P1 in opening practice and P4 this morning. That’s something we’re really proud of.”
CORE autosport decided to park its car today and get ready for the race.
“We didn’t plan to run today unless we had to – and we didn’t need to,” a crewman said.
Tequila Patron ESM experienced problems with both of its Nissan Onroak DPis yesterday, changing engines in the No.2 and a trip into a tire barrier by the No.22 during qualifying. Team principal Scott Sharp – one of the pilots of the No.2 – is happy with the performance of both cars following Friday’s practice.
“It was unfortunate the way it all happened yesterday,” said Sharp, who won with the team in 2016. “We finally found some things the session before qualifying, and Pipo [Derani] was second quick. Nico [Lapierre] had his issue on the second lap, so that car never got a chance to show what it could do, and we needed to do an engine change with our car. But we were able to rebound and get both of our cars out last night. We made some progress, and we made some further progress this morning. We were on old tires, and we were running pretty competitively.”
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