Mazda ends Roar on a high with Daytona qualifying success

In IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Courtesy of IMSA

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Oliver Jarvis secured the best pit and garage position for Mazda Team Joest as he edged out his team-mate by the narrowest of margins during the final day of Roar testing at Daytona International Speedway.

Sandwiched between two practice sessions, with top spot in each shared by the Joest-run Mazda team and Core Autosport, the qualifying session allowed teams to fight it out for preferential positions on the speedway’s lengthy pit apron for the 24 Hours of Daytona itself.

Much like the rest of the three-day test, the pacesetter was the Mazda squad as Oliver Jarvis set the unofficial track record with his late lap in the short session. His time of 1m 33.398s was only 0.025s quicker than the sister RT24-P of Harry Tincknell, but the pair were streets ahead of the competition.

Indeed, the Team Penske Acura DPi of Ricky Taylor was a whole 0.838s off the pace as the rest of the top class struggled to even come close to the Japanese manufacturer.

The two Action Express Racing Cadillac DPis finished within one-tenth of each other in fourth and fifth – ahead of Friday’s front-runner Wayne Taylor Racing as Jordan Taylor qualified in sixth.

Core Autosport, which took the fastest time in the final session at the Roar, qualified in 12th with its Nissan DPi – behind LMP2 class leader PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports.

Gabriel Aubry set the team’s fastest time – four-tenths quicker than James Allen’s DragonSpeed Oreca. Ryan Cullen was third in the sister DragonSpeed car, with Kyle Masson fourth in the Performance Tech entry.

Courtesy of IMSA

Jan Magnussen defeated the challenge of American rival Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as he secured the prime pitlane real estate for Corvette Racing.

The Dane finished 0.128s clear of Richard Westbrook and Joey Hand’s Ford GTs having found extra speed in the C7.R on Sunday.

Porsche finished fourth and fifth as Mathieu Jaminet edged out Nick Tandy in the battle of the 911s having not been able to translate the car’s speed on Saturday night into success on Sunday afternoon.

Davide Rigon was sixth for Risi Competizione with John Edwards the fastest of the BMW Team RLL entries in seventh.

Courtesy of IMSA

GT Daytona crews qualified for their pit spots on Saturday and it was Ana Beatriz who secured the best spot amongst the GT3 teams as she put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX on top of the pile.

She benefited from a good turn of speed, and some fortune on the team’s part as initial pole-sitters P1 Motorsports was excluded from the session after erroneously fielding Gold-rated Dominik Baumann in a qualifying meant for only Silver and Bronze drivers.

On the track, Beatriz fought off stern competition from her rivals as she beat Frankie Montecalvo in the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F by 0.050s.

The second Acura finished in third a further 0.070s back in the hands of Trent Hindman. His time was just 0.005s quicker than Ben Keating’s best time in the Riley Motorsports – Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Jeff Westphal finished fifth for Scuderia Corsa and Daniel Morad finished qualifying sixth for ace European Audi R8 LMS runners Montaplast by Land Motorsport.

Courtesy of IMSA

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