First day of ‘Roar’ complete for Conti Tire Challenge

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The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series has gotten its first two practice sessions of the weekend in at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

Leading the way this morning at Daytona was the GS class No. 09 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage, which logged a lap of 109.725 miles per hour at 1 minute, 56.801 seconds. Second on the charts was the No. 158 Multimatic Ford Mustang (drivers Ian James and Billy Johnson) at 109.594 mph/1 minute, 56.941 seconds, followed by two entries from Fall-Line Motorsports in third and fourth position.

The afternoon session saw one of those Fall-Line BMW M3s, the No. 46 (drivers Trent Hindman and John Edwards), place second on the charts behind the leading No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M3 (drivers Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana), which topped out at 110.055 mph/1 minute, 56.451 seconds. Third-quickest in the afternoon was the No. 32 Phoenix American Ford Mustang (drivers Kurt Rezzitano and Andrew Aquilante).

All of the aforementioned vehicles and drivers were part of the GS – Grand Sport – category. As for the ST – Street Tuner – category, the No. 56 Murillo Racing BMW 328i (drivers Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss) set the pace in the morning (101.873/2 minutes, 5.804 seconds) and in the afternoon as well (101.865/2 minutes, 5.813 seconds).

The CTSCC will have another pair of practice sessions tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET and 2:45 p.m. ET.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.