Rolex 24: Cadillac goes 1-2-3 in night practice
Cadillac locked out the top three positions during third practice for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona on Thursday evening, as Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest time for Action Express Racing.
Albuquerque's early benchmark of 1m34.914s aboard the #31 Whelen Engineering-liveried Cadillac DPi-V.R went unchallenged for the remainder of the 90-minute nightime session, and was enough to head the Wayne Taylor Racing machine of Renger van der Zande by 0.332s.
Joao Barbosa ensured it was an all-Cadillac top three in the Mustang Sampling-backed #5 JDC-Miller MotorSports car, a little over half a second off the pace of Albuquerque.
Acura Team Penske's #6 car was fourth-fastest in the hands of defending IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar champion Dane Cameron, while the fifth and final DPi car to set a time was the #85 JDC-Miller car, ex-IndyCar racer Matheus Leist setting that car's best time.
Neither of the two Mazda Team Joest entries participated, while the #7 Acura ARX-05 did not record a timed lap following Ricky Taylor's heavy shunt in qualifying, only leaving the pits in the dying moments for a pair of installation laps.
Gabriel Aubry left it late to set the fastest time in LMP2 aboard the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07, posting a best time of 1m37.084s with only a minute left on the clock, beating Colin Braun's best effort in the DragonSpeed Oreca by 0.354s.
In GT Le Mans, an early effort of 1m43.301s from Mathieu Jaminet was good enough to put the #912 Porsche 911 RSR-19 top of the pile, some three tenths up on the best of the BMW M8 GTEs, the #24 car driven by Augusto Farfus.
The pole-winning #911 Porsche was third-quickest in the hands of Frederic Makowiecki ahead of the best of the new mid-engined Corvette C8.Rs in fourth place.
BMW's second car, the #25, sat out the majority of the session before hitting the track with 20 minutes to go and ending up bottom of the GTLM times.
GT Daytona was led by Klaus Bachler in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R on a time of 1m46.128s, less than a tenth clear of Dennis Olsen in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche that claimed the class pole earlier in the day.
Andrea Caldarelli was the best of the Lamborghini drivers in third aboard the Paul Miller Racing Huracan GT3 Evo ahead of fellow Lambo factory man Marco Mapelli in the GRT Magnus entry and the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Balzan.
One more practice session takes place on Friday morning at 9.50am local time (EST) prior to the start of the Rolex 24 itself on Saturday at 1.35pm.
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