Daytona 24 Hours: Mustang Sampling #5 with the pole

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Rolex Daytona 24 Hours
Joao Barbosa Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi V.R #5 takes the 1st pole for the new-era;
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing made 1,2 and 3
Two Ferraris and one Aston at the front row for GTD

Action Express Racing - Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi V.R - João Barbosa, Christian Fitipaldi e Filipe Albuquerque
Action Express Rac­ing — Mus­tang Sam­pling Cadil­lac DPi V.R — João Bar­bosa, Chris­t­ian Fiti­pal­di e Fil­ipe Albu­querque

As an after­noon sun drenched on the high banks of Day­tona Inter­na­tion­al Speed­way, two cars con­tin­ued to lay down the fastest laps of the after­noon. Joao Bar­bosa, dri­ving the #5 Mus­tang Sam­pling Cadil­lac DPi-V.R cap­tured the pole for the 55th Run­ning of the Rolex Day­tona 24 Hours. His team­mate, Dane Cameron dri­ving the #31 Whe­len Cadil­lac DPi-V.R qual­i­fied in sec­ond.

For Joao, he turned his fastest lap on his sixth and final cir­cuit of the 3.56-mile makeshift road course. The pole is the first for Cadil­lac in pro­to­type sports car rac­ing and the first for the new-era of pro­to­types in IMSA com­pe­ti­tion.

I felt real­ly good in the car, and it took a lit­tle bit for the tire pres­sure to come up,” Bar­bosa stat­ed. “After the first ses­sion, the car real­ly worked well and I was able to push hard­er. To start up front, it shows we have a fast car and we were able to put it on the pole. Hope­ful­ly, it means we have a good car for the race.” 

 

Ford GT #66 - chip Ganassi Racing - WeatherTech Racing
Ford GT #66 — chip Ganas­si Rac­ing — Weath­erTech Rac­ing

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing made 1, 2, 3!

It appears Ford Chip Ganas­si are ready for the chal­lenge, qual­i­fy­ing first, sec­ond, third and sixth in the 11-car field Thurs­day after­noon.

On the pole was the No. 66 dri­ven by Joey Hand, one of the dri­vers who won at Le Mans.

We feel like we’re more pre­pared this year,” he said. And how does he feel about the fact that his cen­tral com­pe­ti­tion may be his three team­mates? “Well,” he said, “you just want to be the fastest bul­let in the gun!”

Hand’s best lap was 1:43.473 sec­onds, just ahead of Richard Westbrook’s 1:43.704 in the No. 67. Third was Olivi­er Pla in the No. 68, whose best lap was 1:43.987. Pla’s best lap was on the fourth tour around the cir­cuit, which was lucky, as he lat­er spun off the track and sat in the grass for most of the ses­sion.

Fourth was the No. 62 Risi Com­pe­tizione Fer­rari 488 GTE, with a lap of 1:44.121 by Toni Vilan­der. He said he well real­izes the chal­lenge the Ford con­tin­gent presents, but says, “We have a strong line­up of dri­vers, and we’re look­ing for­ward to the race. We won Petit Le Mans last year,” refer­ring to the Weath­erTech Cham­pi­onship 10-hour sea­son finale at Road Atlanta, “And every­thing we have is the same or bet­ter. We’re the lone­ly rid­ers – the only Fer­rari in the class.”

 

51, Ferrari, Ferrari 488 GT3, GTD, Peter Mann, Maurizio Mediani, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Davide Rigon ©2017, Jake Galstad LAT Photo USA
51, Fer­rari, Fer­rari 488 GT3, GTD, Peter Mann, Mau­r­izio Medi­ani, Alessan­dro Pier Gui­di, Davide Rigon ©2017, Jake Gal­stad LAT Pho­to USA

Two Ferraris and one Aston at the front row for GTD

In GT Day­tona, it was Fer­rari, Fer­rari and Aston Mar­tin. The front row in the class will be the No. 51 Spir­it of Race Fer­rari 488 GT3, cour­tesy of Alessan­dro Pier Gui­di, whose best lap was 1:47.099. “Fer­rari and the team did a great job for me,” Pier Gui­di. “I’m here for them.” He was not able to make pre-sea­son test­ing at Day­tona, so the pole win was impres­sive.

Close behind – very close, in fact – was the No. 63 Scud­e­ria Cor­sa Fer­rari 488 GT3 dri­ven by Alessan­dro Balzan who, with co-dri­ver Christi­na Nielsen, won the 2016 Weath­erTech Cham­pi­onship sea­son GTD title. The vet­er­an Balzan’s best lap was 1:47.117, which he set in a Hail-Mary last lap that near­ly earned him the top spot. “Scud­e­ria Cor­sa gave me a real­ly good car for qual­i­fy­ing”, Balzan said. “There’s a good ener­gy here for the team.”

Third was the No. 98 Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing Van­tage, dri­ven by Mar­co Sorensen to a lap of 1:47.734. His Aston Mar­tin was fol­lowed by the No. 59 Porsche 911 GT3 R dri­ven by Mat­teo Cairoli, the No. 11 Lam­borgh­i­ni Huracán of Chris­t­ian Engel­hart, and the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS GT3 pilot­ed by Con­nor De Phillippi.

The new Michael Shank Rac­ing Acu­ra NSXs were sev­enth and ninth. The sim­i­lar­ly new 3GT Rac­ing Lexus RCFGT3s were 13th and 20th. And the three Mer­cedes AMG GT3s – while not an all-new car, are new to the GT Day­tona class – were 18th, 19th and 24th in the field of 27 entries.

The race will be streamed live flag to flag on the FOX Sports GO app with FS1 authen­ti­ca­tion, begin­ning at 2 p.m ET on Sat­ur­day, Jan­u­ary 28 and con­tin­u­ing to 3 p.m. ET on Sun­day, Jan­u­ary 28. Live TV cov­er­age begins on FOX from 2–5 p.m., switch­es to FS2 for 5–10 p.m. as well as 11 p.m.-1:00 p.m. and then fin­ish­es off on FS1 from 1–3 p.m.

IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile app will stream in-car cam­eras, live tim­ing and scor­ing, and IMSA Radio’s play-by-play live on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day.

Live inter­na­tion­al broad­cast stream avail­able on IMSA.tv, the youtube IMSA Offi­cial and the IMSA mobile app. JLpress will cov­er some hours with a live­post at Jlpress.com.

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