Harry Tincknell throw down the gauntlet early Saturday morning, running a lap of 1m34.925s in the No. 55 Team Joest Mazda DPi to lead the third practice session at the Roar Before the Rolex 24.
That not only unofficially shattered Joao Barbosa’s Prototype track record at Daytona International Speedway (1m36.903s), it was the first serious challenge to P.J. Jones’ official mark of 1m33.875s in 16 years.
That record was set back in qualifying for the 1993 Rolex 24, when Jones was driving Dan Gurney’s All American Racers Toyota Eagle Mk III. Jones and teammate Juan Fangio II demolished the competition that year — winning every race they entered — in the final year of Camel GTP competition.
No one has come close since. Until Saturday morning.
“Obviously, to be running so close to the overall track record is amazing,” Tincknell said. “Maybe when the track rubbers in a bit more, when we’re in qualifying trim, and running with a tow, it’s definitely there to be had. It would be amazing if we could reach it, whether if it’s at the Roar or the race. Let’s see what happens.”
Tincknell wasn’t alone in challenging for the all-time mark. Fernando Alonso was second with a lap of 1m35.052s in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, as the top eight DPis eclipsed Barbosa’s track mark.
Will Owen was involved in an incident early in the session when he damaged the right-front corner of the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R after contact with the No. 88 WRT Speedster Audi R8 LMS GT3 at the exit of chicane, when both cars were braking to avoid a spinning car.
“I don’t want to place blame anywhere, so the best thing to say is a racing incident,” Owen said. “The car in front of me was avoiding a spin; I did my very best to avoid him, but it didn’t work out that way.”
Matt McMurry paced LMP2 and was 10th overall, at 1m36.643s in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA Gibson.
New teams were atop the respective GT classes, both running Porsches.
Mathieu Jaminet led GTLM, with a 1m43.862s in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, while Black Swan Racing’s Marco Seefried paced GTD, running a 1m45.919 in the No. 540 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
With the GTD competitors not testing on Sunday, Saturday morning’s practice for that class was extended by 15 minutes. In addition, the GTD competitors will have a 15-minute qualifying session to assign pit and garage positions for the Rolex 24 following today’s second WeatherTech Championship practice, which runs from 3:35-4:20 p.m.
Saturday activities conclude with night practice from 6:45-8 p.m.