DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Bidding to become the first team to win the Rolex 24 four consecutive times, Wayne Taylor Racing’s pursuit of a sports car record got off to a fast start Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
In the opening practice session for the Roar before the Rolex 24, the No. 10 Acura DPi of WTR turned the fastest lap (1 minute, 35.309 seconds) with driver Ricky Taylor around the 3.56-mile road course. The three-day Roar weekend will set the field for the 60th running of the Rolex 24, the season opener for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Filipe Albuquerque and new endurance driver Will Stevens also made laps while 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, who was part of last year’s victory at Daytona, had yet to slide behind the wheel as the team made 31 laps.
INFO FOR THE 60TH ROLEX 24: Schedules, start times, entry lists
The No. 60 Acura of Meyer Shank Racing was second fastest with a lap of 1:35.602 turned by Oliver Jarvis.
Sebastien Bourdais, who has joined the No. 01 Cadillac of Chip Ganassi Racing as a full-time driver in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, was third fastest (1:35.942) ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen in Ganassi’s new No. 02 entry.
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Action Express Racing’s No. 48 Ally Cadillac, which finished second to Wayne Taylor Racing in last year’s Rolex 24, was fifth fastest in the opening Roar practice with a lap of 1:36.171 by Kamui Kobayashi. The team includes seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who is making his ninth attempt at his first Rolex 24 victory.
The No. 29 ORECA of Racing Team Nederland (LMP2), the No. 38 of PErformance Tech Motorsports (LMP3), the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of TR3 Racing (GTD Pro) and the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3R of Wright Motorsports (GTD) were the fastest in other classes.
Four of the 32 laps in the Racing Team Nederland car were turned by Rinus VeeKay, who is one of 12 full-time IndyCar drivers in the Rolex 24.
There will be more practice this afternoon and Saturday morning before qualifying for the second annual Motul 100 race that will set the starting lineup for the 60th Rolex 24 at Daytona, which will take place Jan. 29-30.