Konica Minolta Wins Qualifying Race at Daytona – Pfaff Motorsports 3rd in GTD PRO – AWA Racing 3rd in LMP3
SOME GOOD BATTLES TOOK PLACE IN THE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES – GIVES A GOOD PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT’S TO COME FOR THE ROLEX 24
No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05(Wayne Taylor Racing) and Ricky Taylor at the wheel crossed the finish line 7.9 seconds ahead of Richard Westbrook’s no. 5 Cadillac Racing but the gap had been 0.5 second as they crossed the line with two laps to go. Westbrook dove to the inside at corner one in an attempt to pass Taylor for the lead. As Taylor closed the door on him they slightly made contact and forced Westbrook into a spin while Taylor saved it and continued on.
Third place went to no. 48 Ally Cadillac as Kamui Kobayashi fought his way back from being about 20 seconds behind the leaders to finish 9.5 seconds back.
AWA Racing had started the qualifying race in seventh place with Orey Fidani taking the green flag of the no. 13 Duqueine D08. Following some close battle at the start of the race, Fidani was shown in third place in class and brought the car in for teammate Kuno Wittmer to take over. Kuno’s fastest lap was just over a second on race pace form the quickest time in LMP3 during the qualifying race.
For a first outing with the car, AWA can be very happy with their result as they will start the Rolex 24 from third place in LMP3.
Pfaff Motorsports started the race in second place but took the lead early on and held on to it for the majority of the race. The first relay was taken by Mathieu Jaminet who then handed over the car to Felipe Nasr. Holding on to the lead as Alessio Picariello in the no. 79 WeatherTech Porsche was closing in on him to eventually complete the pass.
Mirko Bortolotti had taken the second stint of the no. 63 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and went by Nasr to take second and then made the pass for first place over Picariello. Nasr crossed the line in third 1.6 seconds behind the Lamborghini driver.
Mikaël Grenier’s Winward Racing team completed the qualifying race in first place in the GTD class having started from pole. It was Russell Ward who first drove then Lucas Auer took over for the second stint. Auer held off Paul Holton in the no. 59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3 and kept a 0.509s advantage at the finish line.
Wright Motorsports, Zach Robichon’s drive for the Rolex 24, ended up third. The no. 28 Alegra Motorsports came in seventh. As for the no. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Roman De Angelis drove the first stint and encountered problems early in the race and after the drivers change, Tony Gamble unfortunately made light contact with Turner Motorsport’s BMW which caused damaged to the suspension and had to retire from the qualifying race.
Now, the teams are going to regroup and prepare the cars for the Rolex 24 weekend that is scheduled to start with practice sessions on Thursday.
Canadian Racers News will be at Daytona International Speedway t never the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Qualifying race results here.
Image courtesy IMSA