Rolex 24 At Daytona Thursday news and notes

Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images

Rolex 24 At Daytona Thursday news and notes


Rolex 24 At Daytona Thursday news and notes


No BoP adjustments

Porsches remained at the bottom end of the time sheets in GTD and GTD PRO after IMSA declined to make any adjustments to the Balance of Performance tables for the new 992-generation 911 GT3 R. Teams have complained about a lack of straightline speed, and the cars have consistently been well off the pace. The quickest Porsche in the morning session, the No.80 AO Racing entry in the hands of Gunnar Jeannette (main image), was 1.5s off the top GT time. That grew to 2.0s in the second practice, where Kevin Estre was the quickest of the Porsche drivers.

MDK Motorsports moves to GTD PRO

MDK Motorsports has switched the entry for its No. 53 Porsche 911 GT3 R from GTD to GTD PRO. Team principal and driver Mark Kvamme reports that after running through simulations, the team’s best bet to perform well in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup was to make the move. It allows Bronze-rated driver Kvamme to have a two-hour minimum drive time, leaving the remaining time to Trenton Estep, Jan Magnussen and Jason Hart. Hart was a late replacement for Kevin Magnussen, who needed to have hand surgery in order to recover for the F1 season. Hart is expected to be in the car for the rest of the MEC races.

When initially asked about the switch, Kvamme joked that the red numberboards for GTD PRO looked better on the red-white-and-black car.

History on display

The Heritage Display in the Daytona International Speedway Fan Zone continues with the traditional gathering of 24 Hours participant cars and winners. This year’s crop includes Preston Henn’s 935, on which the livery of the AO Racing GTD 911 GT3 R is based, and the original BMW GTP car. Fans will have the opportunity to see many of the Heritage Display cars on track Saturday morning as they participate in the ’24 Minutes of Daytona’ beginning at 9:50 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere at Daytona, there will be a couple of special visitors to the Cadillac display on the midway on Saturday and Sunday. Cadillac will have the famed ‘Le Monstre’ 1950 Series 61 Cadillac campaigned by Briggs Cunningham at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the Centenary Le Mans trophy. Cadillac will have cars at Le Mans for the first time since 2002, with V-LMDh cars entered by Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing. The Le Monstre normally resides at The Revs Institute in Naples, Fla.

GTP manufacturers provide safety cars

Each of manufacturers participating in the new GTP class has provided safety cars for IMSA competition. Acura sent an NSX Type S; BMW an X5M; Cadillac provided a CT5-V Blackwing; and Porsche has a 911 Turbo S in a livery mirroring that of the Porsche Penske Motorsports 963s.

Torque Show returns

Tommy Kendall reports the Torque Show that he does with fellow former racer Justin Bell will make its sole appearance at an IMSA race on Saturday, broadcasting live from pit lane at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. You can find it on their Facebook page, and it will live on the website afterward.