Earl Bamber threw in a late flyer to top the time sheets in the morning warm-up ahead of this afternoon’s Rolex 24 qualifying race. Bamber turned a 1m34.131s in the No. 02 Cadillac Racing Cadillac, about a tenth off Tristan Vautier’s pole time yesterday in the No. 5 JDC Miller Motorsports Cadillac. Renger van der Zande, who put the No. 02 Cadillac into the tire wall during qualifying yesterday and lost his top times as a result, posted the second-quickest time, the only other car in the 34s.
Rene Rast put up the fast time in LMP2 in the No. 68 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA. LMP3 was topped by Josh Burdon in the No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier. The No. 63 TR3 Racing Lamborghini was back on top of the GTD Pro time sheets in the hands of Andrea Caldarelli, while Brendan Iribe put his No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S out front in GTD.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura has been moved to the back of the grid for today’s qualifying race due to the rear wing being out of compliance in yesterday’s qualifying session.
Gradient Racing’s thrash to get its GTD Acura NSX back into racing condition after Kyffin Simpson’s mishap yesterday paid off, as the car has been repaired and will be ready for this afternoon’s qualifying race, although the team just barely missed the warm-up.
It was all hands on deck, especially as the team didn’t have access to the garage after 11 p.m. last night — the garages closed at 10, but the team received special dispensation to keep working. The repair involved replacing the right-rear corner, replacing and welding a frame rail and removing the engine to inspect it and replace the oil pump. The team had most of the parts on hand, but received help from fellow Acura racing team Racers Edge Motorsports, located a short distance from Daytona Beach.
GTD Pro team Risi Competizione missed the warm-up when its Ferrari 488 wouldn’t start. The full diagnosis hasn’t determined the problem, but the team believes something was loose in the bell housing.
UP NEXT: Qualifying race, 2:05 p.m. Peacock