Mazda tops opening session in Roar Before the Rolex 24

Oliver Jarvis nailed the top time for Mazda Team Joest in the opening session in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi got their first laps in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.

Mazda tops opening session in Roar Before the Rolex 24

In the first official IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test of the 2019 season, Jarvis lapped the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course in 1min35.989sec in the #77 Mazda RT24-P to beat Jordan Taylor’s best in WTR’s Cadillac DPi-V.R by 0.418sec.

Alonso and Kobayashi were around half a second off Taylor’s best as they familiarized themselves with the #10 Cadillac they will also share with Renger van der Zande.

Harry Tincknell in the second Mazda was just 0.042sec further back in third, while Felipe Nasr narrowly edged Action Express Racing teammate Joao Barbosa for P4.

Will Owen was fastest of Juncos Racing’s quartet ahead of the team’s first Rolex 24 to grab sixth fastest ahead of another team running a Caddy DPi for the first time, JDC-Miller Motorsports.

The Acura Team Penske duet of Ricky Taylor and Juan Pablo Montoya were eighth and 10th, split by Simon Trummer in the second JDC-Miller Cadillac.

Gabriel Aubry was fastest of the two LMP2 cars in action, with 11th fastest overall for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, around four seconds off the fastest DPi time.

In GT Le Mans, the Porsche 911 RSRs of Patrick Pilet and Earl Bamber went 1-2, followed by the Ford GTs of Dirk Muller and Ryan Briscoe.

Davide Rigon wheeled the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 to fifth fastest ahead of the two Corvettes and two BMW M8s.

The booming GT Daytona class saw a familiar driver/car/team combo on top – Jeroen Bleekemolen preeminent in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT ahead of two Ferrari 488s, the Spirit of Race machine piloted by Pedro Lamy and the WeatherTech-liveried Scuderia Corsa car of Toni Vilander.

Bill Auberlen slotted Turner Motorsport’s BMW M6 into fourth ahead of Jack Hawksworth in the faster of AIM Vasser-Sullivan’s Lexus RC Fs and Daniel Morad in Land Motorsport’s Audi R8.

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