• Tim Fullbrook

ROAR Qualifying: JDC Miller score pole for Qualifying Race

Updated: Jan 23

Tristan Vautier was fastest in the #5 Cadillac in a red-flagged session.

Mustang Sampling will start the Rolex 24 Qualifying Race from pole after Tristan Vautier set a time of 1:34.034 before the session was ended prematurely by a red flag.

The JDC Miller Motorsports-run Cadillac DPi-V.R will be joined on the front row by the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura, with Filipe Albuquerque putting the reigning Rolex 24 winners second with a time 0.122s slower than Vautier.

Cadillac Racing complete the top three, Alex Lynn setting a 1:34.259 to slot the #02 into third in the DPi field. The fastest car from practice all week, the #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 was sixth fastest. Debutant Tom Blomqvist setting a 1:35.407, the only car to set a lap over a second slower than pole.

Qualifying was red-flagged inside the final four minutes as Renger van der Zande ran into the barrier at the Western Horseshoe, in turn dropping the #01 Cadillac Racing car from second on the grid. The Dutchman leaving the track as a result of pushing to overturn a 0.091s deficit.

Ben Keating set the fastest LMP2 time in the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07, the tenacious Texan setting 1:37.296 to head a 1-2 for the team. Steven Thomas was 0.637 seconds slower than Keating, but crucially the 1:37.933 lap was enough to put the #11 car ahead of Dennis Andersen in the #20 High Class Racing Oreca 07.

Young stars shine in LMP3

Debutant Cameron Shields would score pole position in the LMP3 category for Muehlner Motorsports, the 21 year-old Australian clocking a 1:42.182 lap in the #26 Duqueine D08. The lap not only scored pole for the Rolex 24 Qualifying Race but lowered the LMP3 lap record at Daytona, breaking the time set by Laurents Hörr in 2021 by over 1.2s. Ligier JS P320s completed the top three positions with Nico Pino claiming second in the #38 Performance Tech Motortsports, 0.286s off pole, with John Andretti third in the #36 Andretti Autosport machine, 1.601s off Shields' pole time.

Porsche and Mercedes score 1-2s in GTD fields

Porsche would lock out the front row of the GTD PRO field for tomorrow's Qualifying Race thanks to a stellar lap from Alexander Imperatori in the #2 KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 R. The Swiss driver lapped a greasy Daytona in 1:46.136 to claim the first ever GTD PRO pole, and lead Porsche factory driver Mathieu Jaminet in the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche by a mere 0.063s.

TR3 Racing would snatch third spot in the final moments, Andrea Calderelli clocking a 1:46.577, nearly half a second slower than pole.

In GTD Mercedes ruled the roost as Kenny Habul's Sun Energy 1 and Russell Ward's Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3s would lock out the front row.

Habul set the pace in the category, a 1:46.313 lap was set late as the track continued to improve throughout the session, with the reigning Rolex 24 GTD victors Winward Racing forced to accept second best some 0.151s slower.

Remarkably the top two GTD cars followed the top two GTD PRO runners, to lie third and fourth fastest in the combined session. Corvette will make their race debut with the heavily-modified C8.R from 10th and 11th in the GTD PRO field. Tommy Milner the fastest in the former-GTLM machinery, clocking a 1:47.661, over one-and-a-half seconds slower than pole in category.


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