Mazda and Wayne Taylor Racing topped the timesheets once again on the second day of Roar testing ahead of the 24 Hours of Daytona at Daytona International Speedway.
Having claimed the fastest time of the opening day on Friday, the Joest-run Mazda squad carried on where it left off as Harry Tincknell swept to the top of the times as the only driver to break the 1m 35s barrier in the morning with a 1m 34.925s.
His time was just 0.127s faster than Wayne Taylor’s star signing Fernando Alonso who set about collecting data on the Cadillac DPi for his second crack at the 24 hours in as many years. He relegated the second Mazda DPi down to third, with Oliver Jarvis half-a-second off the pace.
The roles were reversed in the 45-minute afternoon running as Renger Van Der Zande set the fastest time of the test so far with a 1m 34.534s.
Olivier Pla finished fourth in the highest of the Mazdas, with the sister car down in 10th.
Instead, the closest competition to the Cadillac squad came from Team Penske as Ricky Taylor finished ahead of the #5 Action Express Racing Cadillac with Mike Conway setting that car’s fastest lap.
Core Autosport experienced an upturn in fortunes as it got to grips with its new Nissan DPi as Colin Braun set the car’s best time in the afternoon test – good enough for sixth in the 12 car class.
PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports had competition in the LMP2 class as it topped just one of the sessions held on Saturday as WEC regulars DragonSpeed got up to speed with its Oreca 07.
Nicolas Lapierre set the fastest lap of the class by some margin – his 1m 36.553s more than half-a-second clear of Gabriel Aubry’s fastest lap in PR1’s Oreca in the fourth session of the test.
The second DragonSpeed entry finished third in both on-track outings with Roberto Gonzalez and Formula One race winner Pastor Maldonado putting in the benchmark times in both sessions.
In GT Le Mans, Porsche and Ford shared the spoils as Mathieu Jaminet and Richard Westbrook set the fastest times for their respective manufacturers.
Westbrook had strong competition from his Chip Ganassi team-mate Sebastien Bourdais who finished the afternoon test in third – less than three-tenths off Westbrook’s fastest-in-class time.
Also performing strongly in the class was the sister Porsche of Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki which finished third in Saturday’s first session and second in the afternoon.
Risi Competizione took the fight to the manufacturer teams in both sessions with the pairing of Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina finishing fourth and fifth in the team’s Ferrari 488.
Black Swan Racing and Meyer Shank Racing split the honours in GT Daytona with the Porsche team taking the honours in the morning and the Acura NSX runner claiming the afternoon spoils.
Competing in the newest generation of the 911 GT3 R, Matteo Cairoli edged out Meyer Shank’s AJ Allmendinger by just 0.026s in the morning running – with Daniel Serra a further 0.110s behind in the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3.
In a sign of how close the all-GT3 class is shaping up to be, Scuderia Corsa and Via Italia Racing finished fourth and fifth – within three-tenths of Cairoli’s best time.
The closeness didn’t continue in the afternoon session as Allmendinger’s co-driver Trent Hindman blitzed the competition with a time 0.795s quicker than Katherine Legge’s fastest time in the second Meyer Shank NSX.
GRT Grasser Racing Team finished with a best position of third in the fourth session as Mirko Bortolotti proved why he’s Lamborghini’s main man by finishing 0.105s behind the top two having finished sixth in the morning.
The two daylight sessions aren’t all of Saturday’s running, with a first experience of running in the dark around the banking ending off the day. The 75-minute session starts at 6.45pm local time.