Defending Rolex 24 at Daytona winner leads opening practice for 2022 Roar weekend

Rolex 24 Roar practice
Wayne Taylor Racing
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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.

SESSION IClick here for the speed chart l Click here for the speed chart by class l Fastest lap by driver l Fastest lap by driver and class l Time cards l Best sector times l Fastest lap sequence

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.

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.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III