The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams have had a frustrating day of sessions full of conditions unrepresentative of what they will face in the Rolex 24 on Saturday and Sunday. Three practice sessions with a mostly wet track have left the teams with little to learn as far as outright pace goes. Instead they spent the day trying to scrub tires, bed brake sets, practice driver changes and being thankful for the good conditions at the Roar last weekend.
“It’s not ideal, let’s be honest,” said Tom Blomqvist after an early stint in the night practice session driving the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura DPi.
“It’s difficult to tick off the items that we wanted to tick off. We couldn’t get through any of those items today with weather like this. You know, we’ve had a few seat dramas, so we had to remedy that. Luckily, we’ve managed to sort that out. Other than that, we’ve just been trying to scrub a few tires here and there. But it’s not easy scrubbing the slicks in these conditions. So honestly, it’s been a very difficult day. There’s been a lot of sitting around. So it’s gonna be interesting race for sure, because we’re not as prepared as we would have liked to have been.”
For LMP2, LMP3 and GTD teams with Bronze drivers, running in the night session is necessary because the drivers must have a minimum amount of night practice before the race. But some teams treated the session that started wet and improved – but never really dried – as optional. Others ran the minimum number of laps then headed to the garages.
Filipe Albuquerque set the best time of the session, a 1m48.730s lap in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura, which was some 13s off Kamui Kobayashi’s time set in the best conditions of the day at the beginning of the second session. Luca Ghiotto in the No. 69 G- Drive Racing by APR Oreca set the fast time in LMP2 with a 1m49.597s lap. The LMP3 field was topped by Ugo de Wilde at 1m56.933s in the No. 26 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine.
WeatherTech Racing’s Daniel Juncadella was quickest in GTD Pro, posting a 1m58.431s time in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, while another Mercedes-AMG was at the top of GTD, with Raffaele Marciello turning a 1m58.579s in the No. 75 Sun Energy 1 entry.
Teams and drivers have one more hour on track tomorrow at 11:20 a.m. Eastern to accomplish what they need to before the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Saturday.