Sunday at the Roar: High Speed and DQs

Sunday at Daytona International Speedway was a day of contrasts. Olivier Pla set an unofficial track record in the number 77 Mazda with a lap of 1:33.324. The  lap in the DPi qualifying session does not count as the official lap record. Official lap records can only be set during the Rolex 24 weekend.

Team Penske Acuras were second and third. Ricky Taylor finished 0.219 seconds behind Pla and Juan Pablo Montoya was 0.241 seconds behind the leader. Alexander Rossi led the practice round before qualifying in the number 7 that Taylor drove. The Penske Acuras look strong for the race.

James Calado led the GTLM qualifying session in the Risi Competizione independent Ferrari. His best lap of 1:42.685 edged Nick Tandy in the 911 Porsche by 0.001 seconds. Tommy Milner was third in the number 4 Corvette, 0.108 seconds behind. I was hoping for more from the Corvettes.

Lamborghinis Disqualified

Four Lamborghinis, including all three cars of Team Grasser, were disqualified for running unapproved gear ratios in qualifying.

The affected cars, the 11. 19.and 44 of Grasser Racing Team, and the 47 of Precision Motorsports, lost their qualifying spots which determine choice of pit and garage space for the Rolex 24. The 47, driven by Brandon Gdovic, was the fastest of the disqualified entries, finishing 4th.

The LMP2  number 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry also was disqualified for having the incorrect driver.

Notes

I hope this weekend’s weather, rainy and cold, is not a preview of weather for race weekend. It’s time for a warm, sunny Rolex weekend.

The DPi field looks to be very competitive. While Mazda led most of the sessions, Acura and the Wayne Taylor Cadillac each topped a session Sunday.

Ben Keating will drive in two classes in the Rolex. I’m not sure how that works with driver time limits.

The Roar is marketing genius. IMSA gets a respectable crowd the first weekend in January for an extended test session. Indycar might consider turning Spring Training into something similar. In addition to the test rounds and “qualifying”, there are two races for ladder series. I have seen this event grow since I began attending.

Roar Before the 24- Lots of Changes for Full Timers and Indycar Drivers

The Roar Before the 24 began today with a totally different look for the IMSA Weather Tech field. Several full time drivers are with new teams. As a result, some of the Indycar regulars who serve as the extra drivers needed for the endurance races are also in new situations. The most notable Indycar drivers to switch are Scott Dixon, who will drive for Wayne Taylor Racing this year after Chip Ganassi’s Ford GTLM program ended after 2019.

The majority of drivers who participated in the NTT Indycar Series in 2019 are in the DPi class. Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud are in Team Penske Acuras. Rossi is in car number 6 and Pagenaud in car 7. Dixon will drive in the 10 car. Ryan Hunter-Reay is with the number 55 Mazda. Matheus Leist, who at present does not a ride in Indycar for this year, is driving the endurance races for JDC-Miller in car 85.

Colton Herta returns to defend his GTLM win in the 2019 Rolex 24 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan in the number 25 BMW.

Part time Indycar drivers running this weekend at Ben Hanley with Dragonspeed in the 81 LMP2 entry and James Davison the number 2 Multimatic Riley, also in LMP2.

Katherine Legge returns on an all female team, but not with Henricher/MSR. She will drive the 19 GTD car for GEAR Racing powered by GRT Grasser. The Lamboghini Hurracan will be very competitive.

Go to the link to view the full entry list:

Click to access 2020_iwsc_roar_official_entrylist.pdf

 

Things Will Seem Weird

There are things about the Roar that will look strange. Wayne Taylor Racing will not have a driver named Taylor.  It was hard enough last year getting used to Ricky Taylor in the Penske Acura. Now we also need to adjust to his brother Jordan in a Corvette GTLM.

I will miss the Ganassi Ford GTLMs. I loved the look of the car and its distinctive sound. I’m glad that their regular drivers have found other rides.

Normally watching Sebastien Bourdais in the endurance races is no big deal, but it’s difficult to realize that the number 5 Cadillac will be his home for the season. I hope he can find something for the Indianapolis 500.

I hope the smaller field, just 40 cars this year, can see more entries starting next season. I understand it’s economics, but sad to see the numbers going down. Some of the shorter races may see even smaller grids.

The Schedule

Saturday, January 4

7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Garages Open
7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Scout Days Open Garage inside the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship garage
7:30 AM
Infield & UNOH Fanzone open
7:30 AM – 8:15 AM
Scout Days Start/Finish Line Track Walk
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
DIS Tours available – Purchase at Daytona Ticket and Tours building
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Scout Days fishing available on Lake Lloyd
8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Pick up sheet to earn Scout Days Unit Excellence Ribbon at the GEICO Campgrounds information booth
8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
IMSA Prototype Challenge qualifying
8:45 AM
Scout Days STEMWERX Wind Tunnel activity signups at UNOH Fanzone Main Stage (limited spots available)
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Rolex 24 At DAYTONA trophy photos in Gatorade Victory Lane
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Scout Days Tram Track/Venue Tours departing from Tram Plaza
9:00 AM – 9:20 AM
Michelin Tire Workshop in Pilot Challenge Paddock
9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice session #3
10:00 AM
Scout Days STEMWERX Wind Tunnel activity (must sign-up in advance)
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM
IMSA WeatherTech Championship practice session #3
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
Autograph Session: IMSA Prototype Challenge drivers under FPL Solar Patio in UNOH Fanzone
10:30 AM
Guided IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Garage Tour Sign-Ups (limited spots available, UNOH Fanzone Main Stage)
11:20 AM – 12:00 PM
IMSA Prototype Challenge Pre-Race Access/Grid Walk
12:15 PM – 3:15 PM
Race – IMSA Prototype Challenge At DAYTONA (3 Hours)
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Driver Panel: AIM Vasser Sullivan in Driver Meeting Room
1:30 PM
Guided IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Garage Tour (limited spots available, sign-up begins at 10:30 AM at UNOH Fanzone Main Stage)
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Fan Forum: “Women in Motorsports” in Driver Meeting Room
2:00 PM
Scout Days STEMWERX Wind Tunnel activity (must sign-up in advance)
3:15 PM
Celebrate with the IMSA Prototype Challenge Winners at Gatorade Victory Lane
3:30 PM
Guided WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Garage Tour Sign-Ups (limited spots available, sign-up begins at 3:30 PM at UNOH Fanzone Main Stage)
3:35 PM – 4:05 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #4
4:15 PM – 4:30 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying (GTD)
4:40 PM – 4:55 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying (LMP2)
5:00 PM
Scout Days STEMWERX Wind Tunnel activity (must sign-up in advance)
5:10 PM – 5:55 PM
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice session #4
5:30 PM
Guided WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Garage Tour (limited spots available, sign-up begins at 3:30 PM at UNOH Fanzone Main Stage)
5:55 PM – 6:15 PM
Michelin Tire Workshop in Pilot Challenge Paddock
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #5
8:30 PM
Scout Days movie showing inside the UNOH Fanzone
Sunday, January 5th
7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Garages Open
7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Scout Days Open Garage inside the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship garage
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
IMSA Pinewood Derby at DAYTONA on UNOH Fanzone Stage
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
DIS Tours available – Purchase at Daytona Ticket and Tours building
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Scout Days fishing available on Lake Lloyd
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Scout Days Unit of Excellence Ribbons awarded at GEICO Campgrounds information booth
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice session #5
9:00 AM – 3:45 PM
Infield & UNOH Fanzone open
10:30 AM – 11:35 AM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #6
11:50 AM – 12:05 PM
IMSA WeatherTech Championship qualifying (GTLM)
12:15 PM – 12:30 PM
IMSA WeatherTech Championship qualifying (DPi)
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice session #6
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #7
4:00 PM
Event concludes