Zach Robichon sets record lap to give GTD team Pfaff Motorsports Pole Position for the Rolex 24
MAZDA TEAM JOEST GRABS DPi POLE AS ACURA TEAM PENSKE HITS TROUBLE AND PORSCHE TEAM TO START ON POLE IN GTLM
Quite a busy day at Daytona International Speedway today as IMSA WeatherTech Teams and drivers had two free practice sessions before their 15 minutes qualifying session.
The weather being overcast with some drizzle at times, made it for the track to remain in damp conditions all the way to qualifying time.
In DPi, it has been a battle between Mazda Team Joest and Acura Team Penske as they exchanged the fastest time in both sessions. The time difference between first and eight in Dpi remaining around 1.2s throughout practice.
The LMP2 class has it was between DragonSpeed USA (Ben Hanley GBR/Henrik Hedman SWE/Colin Braun USA/Harrison Newey GBR) and Tower Motorsport by Starworks (Ryan Dalziel GBR/David Heinemeier Hansson DNK/John Farano CAN/Nicolas Lapierre FRA) who exchanged the quickest lap.
GTLM class has been Porsche all the way with the #912 recording the quickest lap in both practice sessions while Canadian Bruno Spengler and his teammates on the #25 BMW Team RLL ended the practices in seventh and fifth respectively.
In the GTD class, where most of our Canadian representatives are competing, WRT Speedstar Audi Sport led the first session with the fastest lap recorded by Mirko Bortoltotti closely followed by the Porsche of Pfaff Motorsports. in the second practice,
Pfaff Motorsports enjoyed good pace during the practice sessions as they ended second in both. AIM Vasser Sullivan #14 completed the sessions in fourth and eight. The sister car #14 was 11th and 17th.
Roman De Angelis, with The Heart of Racing Team’s Aston Martin Vantage did not record any time in the first practice session opting not to run in the conditions. They did run in the second practice and finished in 16th place.
When qualifying came about, it was the GTD class that was first out for their 15 minutes attempt to pole. And it is on Zach Robichon’s third lap that the Canadian clocked a record time of 1:45.237 that was 0.476s clear of second place Scuderia Corsa of Jeff Westphal and 0.600s Heinricher Racing w/MSR Curb-Agajanian of Trent Hindman.
For Zach Robichon it felt like redemption from the 2019 Rolex 24 where Pfaff Motorsports and Zach himself did not enjoy the best of weekend with the unfortunate incident during the race.
“You know, I think we knew the car was good based on what we learned at the Roar. And this morning, we did a few laps, I had a good feeling about our setup on the car in qualifying. You know, you just have to have confidence in the car. And to be honest, I actually didn’t know till just now that it was a lap record. So you’re the first person to tell me I guess the guys were holding that back from me.”
“It was definitely a special feeling(to get pole, NDLR) especially after last year. It’s the one race where I feel like, just as a whole, it was a bad weekend and for this year we wanted to forget it. And I think for me more than anything, this allows us to put that in the past and now we’ve got to bounce up and go into the race and it just brings the morale up and really allows us to forget what happened last year.”
That is definitely great news for the whole team at Pfaff Motorsports in preparation for Saturday’s Rolex 24.
Followed the GTLM class and it was all about the Porsche Team but this time it was #911 of Nick Tandy that drove away with Pole, mind you by a mere 0.049s over the #912. #4 Corvette Racing of Anthony Garcia completed the top three.
Last on track were the Dpi and LMP2. #77 Mazda Team Joest came out on top in Dpi with Oliver Jarvis at the wheel. Followed by #6 Acura Team Penske of Dane Cameron in second(.0443s behind) and #55 Mazda Team Joest of Jonathan Bomarito(0.458s).
The LMP2 pole went to PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports with Ben Keating at the wheel.
Images: Patrice Marchessault / PMstills Photography