Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Roar Before the 24 Saturday results

Leave a comment

IMSA’s Roar Before the 24 continued on Saturday with three test sessions for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: the first taking place in the morning (at 10:50 a.m.), the second in the middle of the afternoon (at 3:30 p.m.), and the final one at night (at 6:30 p.m.).

Saturday’s running saw one manufacturer continue to dominate the Prototype class, and another do the same in GTLM. Meanwhile, three different marques spent time at the top in GT Daytona.

Below are reports about all three classes:

CADILLAC CONTINUES TO LEAD THE WAY IN PROTOTYPE

The Cadillac DPi-V.R remained its dominant self on Saturday, with all three sessions seeing a Cadillac at the top of the field when the checkered flag fell.

In the morning practice (Practice 3 for the weekend), it was Wayne Taylor Racing’s turn at the top, with Jordan Taylor leading the way in the No. 10 Konica Minolta entry. In the mid-afternoon session (Practice 4 for the weekend), Action Express Racing returned to the top, after leading both sessions on Friday, with Felipe Nasr leading the way in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering machine. Eric Curran subsequently kept the No. 31 Cadillac on top in the day’s final session (Practice 5 for the weekend) and the only night session on tap across the three days at the Roar.

Further, the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac ranked in the top five of all three sessions (second in Practice 3, third in Practice 4, and fourth in Practice 5).

All told, it meant Cadillac swept the Saturday sessions, echoing the feat from Friday, even taking the top four spots in Practices 4 and 5.

The only other cars in the top five in any session were Oreca 07 Gibsons. CORE Autosport went third quickest in Practice 3, with their No. 54 Oreca, Jackie Chan DCR JOTA was fifth in Practices 4 and 5 in their No. 78 Oreca, and JDC-Miller Motorsports was fifth quickest in Practice 3 with their No. 99 Oreca.

Also: Team Penske entered the top 10 in the overall time sheets for the weekend, with the No. 6 ARX-05 turning the seventh fastest time of the weekend so far, doing in Practice. The sister No. 7 entry ranks 12th at the end of Day 2, its fastest lap also coming in Practice 4.

FORD TOPS ALL THREE SESSIONS IN GTLM

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing saw one of its Ford GTs lead the way in all three sessions. Scott Dixon topped Practice 3 in the No. 67 machine, with co-driver Ryan Briscoe keeping the No. 67 at the top in Practice 4. Sebastien Bourdais then put the No. 66 entry atop the time charts in Practice 5 (the No. 66 Ford was third in Practice 5, respectively).

The Porsche GT Team was able to nip at the heels of the Ganassi-led squad, however, especially in Practice 5, when Gimmi Brunni put the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR in second. The sister No. 911 entry was fourth in that session, with Corvette Racing putting the No. 4 Corvette C7.R in fifth during the final practice of the day.

PORSCHE, ACURA, LEXUS TRADE PLACES ATOP GT DAYTONA

The GT Daytona class saw three different marques at the top of the three Saturday sessions. Practice 3 saw the No. 59 Porsche 911 GT3 R from Manthey Racing, in the hands of Matteo Cairoli, lead the way. Practice 4 saw Acura takes its turn up front, with Mario Farnbacher doing so in the NSX GT3 from Michael Shank Racing. Finally, in Practice 5, 3GT Racing put the No. 14 Lexus RCF GT3 at the front.

Practice 5 ended with GRT Grasser Racing Team in second, with their No. 11 Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Third went to the No. 15 Lexus from 3GT Racing, followed by the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R from Park Place Motorsports in fourth. Montaplast by Land-Motorsport completed the top five with their No. 29 Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Of note: the fastest GT Daytona time of the weekend still belongs to GRT Grasser Racing Team, whose best lap of 1:47.104 was set on Friday during Practice 1.

Results from all three of Saturday’s sessions are below, along with combined results from all five completed sessions.

The third and final day of the Roar Before 24 kicks off Sunday, with Practice 6 beginning at 10:45 a.m. followed by qualifying sessions to decide pit box and garage locations.

Practice 3 Results
Practice 4 Results
Practice 5 Results
Combined Practice Results

 

Follow@KyleMLavigne

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
1 Comment

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.