Cadillacs took the top three positions as damp conditions held back speeds in Thursday morning’s opening practice for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Felipe Nasr led the session with a 1m36.108s in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, followed by Action Express Racing teammate Filipe Albuquerque, at 1m36.707s in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac.
“The track was wet in the beginning, so it was a chance for us to get a read on the car,” Nasr said. “It was good for me, because I have never driven Daytona in the rain. Just like in the race, we then made the transition to slicks. It was a good overall session to understand the car and the tires — just in case we have the same in the race, we are ready to react to that. So it was a productive session.”
Tristan Vautier was third, 1m45.334s in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac, followed by Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Team Joest Mazda DPi, who posted a 1m38.561s on his final lap. That was nearly five seconds off the team’s fastest lap in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 three weekends ago.
The session was held in cool and overcast conditions, with the track still wet from an early-morning deluge. The sun finally broke through in the closing minutes, with sunny and warmer conditions expected for the afternoon.
The Porsche GT Team went 1-2 in GTLM with its fastest laps at the end of the session. Frederic Makowiecki ran a 1m45.334s in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, followed by Mathieu Jaminet, at 1m46.156s in the No. 912, fifth- and sixth-fastest overall.
DragonSpeed had the only two cars to run in LMP2, led by Henrik Hedman with a 1m46.854s in the No. 81 ORECA Gibson.
While the Prototypes and GTLM competitors practiced for 45 minutes, silver- and bronze-rated drivers in GTD were allotted an additional 15 minutes. Corey Lewis led the class in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, at 1m46.577s.
UP NEXT: The WeatherTech Championship teams in all classes will have a second one-hour session today beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET. Qualifying — beginning with GTD — gets underway at 3:35 p.m. Thursday activities will conclude with a 90-minute night practice for all classes, beginning at 7 p.m.