DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – On a day when there’s only one hour of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship running before tomorrow’s 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona, there’s still a lot going on.
The four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge is in the books, kicking off that series’ season.
Race winners were Trent Hindman and Cameron Cassels, overall and in GS, in the No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 over the pair of CJ Wilson Racing Porsches, the No. 33 car (Marc Miller, Till Bechtolsheimer) ahead of the No. 35 car (Damien Faulkner, Russell Ward). In ST, Luis Perocarpi’s LAP Motorsports team secured its first win with the MINI JCW, the No. 73 car driven by Mat Pombo and Derek Jones.
Here’s some of the day’s other activities, and more will be added later:
- The final practice is complete for the race. Once again, it was a Cadillac DPi-V.R up front, this time Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta entry. Times from the session are linked here. Notable was the effort of the DragonSpeed car to return to the track after overnight repairs building up a new tub, which was completed at 3:30 a.m.
- IMSA key officials Scott Atherton (President, IMSA) Ed Bennett (CEO, IMSA), David Pettit (Vice President of Marketing, IMSA) and Simon Hodgson (Vice President of Competition, IMSA) were on hand to preview the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. Topics addressed included the premiere of the new cars, planned improvements to FOX Sports’ TV coverage, and the ongoing topic that is Balance of Performance. Atherton said if most manufacturers are all a little upset, it means IMSA is doing its job correctly. Hodgson explained IMSA’s data logging process, with tens of gigabytes of data being gathered to determine whether each car is meeting its ultimate performance.
- A couple quick news notes: Motul has signed as title sponsor of Motul Petit Le Mans, the season finale race at Road Atlanta in October. IMSA has also announced one of its “Proud Charities,” the Austin Hatcher Foundation, has planned to build a new, permanent headquarters in Chattanooga, Tenn. Joey Hand, the GT Le Mans polesitter for Ford, was presented with the Austin Hatcher Foundation Humanitarian Award for his volunteer work.
- Various media availabilities followed in the afternoon on what is largely a day for teams to finalize their prep and development work. Of note, the same media scrum that followed Jeff Gordon at previous Daytona tests again followed him today, with Jordan Taylor left to wonder where anyone’s questions were for him.