Mazda Team Joest’s Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell gave Mazda a 1-2 result in Sunday’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 DPi qualifying, unofficially breaking the Daytona International Speedway all-time record in the process.
While the times won’t count in the record book, Mazda will have its choice of pit road and garage locations for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26-27.
On his first qualifying lap, Jarvis bettered P.J. Jones’ long-standing record of 1m33.875s, set in time trials for the 1993 Rolex 24 in Dan Gurney’s No. 98 All-American Racers Toyota Eagle Mk III. Jarvis later improved to 1m33.398s in the No. 77 Mazda DPi, 0.025s quicker than Tincknell’s 1m33.423s in the No. 55 Mazda. John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports, dedicated the performance to Gurney.
“It felt incredible,” Jarvis said. “The car was an absolute joy to drive. We ran in full-quali spec — I don’t think many of our competitors can say the same. In that configuration, you could push the car to the limit, and that’s what us drivers live for, that feeling of getting everything out of the car.
“It’s really confidence-inspiring,” Jarvis continued. “We know we’ve got a good package for the race. We’ve had a really good Roar, especially when you look back 12 months to last year’s difficult Roar. This time, we really hit the ground running. But we also know our competitors will be much closer when we come back. We’ve still got a lot to do, but it’s the first step on what we want to achieve, and that’s the outright victory.”
Ricky Taylor took third coming to the checkered flag, with a 1m34.261s in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura DPi. Action Express Racing took the next two positions. Filipe Albuquerque was fourth, at 1m34.282s in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, followed by Felipe Nasr at 1m34.368s in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering entry.
Following up a successful strategy from 2018, Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen used a tow from teammate Oliver Gavin to capture the GTLM pole, running 1m42.651s — the best lap of the weekend in the class — in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R.
“For qualifying, we agreed on who was going to tow whom, and it was me again getting towed around,” Magnussen said. “That gave us a good top-speed advantage. Ollie did a fantastic job placing himself at the right distance. We did the exact same thing to get the pole here last year, and I’m not sure why everyone else isn’t doing the same exact thing.”
Gavin wound up eighth, 0.542s behind. “The difference in our times is the difference the tow makes,” Magnussen said.
Chip Ganassi Racing took the next two slots. Richard Westbrook was second, with a 1m42.779s in the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, followed by Joey Hand at 1m42.898s in the No. 66.
Porsche took the next two places, with Earl Bamber (No. 912, 1m42.919s) beating out Nick Tandy (No. 911, 1m43.051s).
Gabriel Aubry led the LMP2 class, at 1m35.930s in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA Gibson.
The Roar concludes with one additional one-hour session, beginning at 2:45 p.m. ET.