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Albuquerque Paces Red Flag-Affected Third Roar Session

WTR quickest but incidents and rain impact the running in third Roar session…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Four red flags interrupted the hourlong third Roar Before the Rolex 24 track session which was led by Filipe Albuquerque in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05.

Albuquerque set the pace with a time of 1:34.947 in the DPi car that he shares with Ricky Taylor, Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi.

It came in the opening half of the session before light rain started to fall on Daytona International Speedway, prompting some teams to select wet weather Michelins.

The rain and the red flags prevented session three from establishing a consistent rhythm.

The first red occurred in the first five minutes when the Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 stopped at pit exit. Gradient driver Kyffin Simpson then had an accident on an out-lap around the halfway mark, causing the team to miss the rest of the available time.

The second and fourth interventions were respectively caused by the No. 7 Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan coming to a halt on track, and the Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 Nissan being reported off course at Turn 6 late in the run.

Session leader Albuquerque upheld Acura’s form at the Roar pre-season event after Taylor and Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist led the sessions held on Friday.

Second place on Saturday morning went to Mike Conway who registered a time of 1:35.351 aboard the No. 31 Whelen Engineering-sponsored Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R, four-tenths off the overall pace.

Helio Castroneves ranked third on a 1:36.047 for Meyer Shank Racing, while Sebastien Bourdais slotted into fourth in the best of the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs.

David Pittard beat the GTD Pro runners to top the combined GT order for GTD entrant NorthWest AMR.

The driver of the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 submitted a 1:36.345 in the early stages of the session and remained on top through the red flag periods and rainfall to emerge as the fastest.

Dirk Mueller topped GTD Pro behind the wheel of the No. 15 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, a couple of tenths shy of Pittard’s effort.

The head of the GT order contained a mixture of GTD Pro and GTD entries, with Giacomo Altoe taking third outright for TR3 Racing’s Lamborghini effort in the latter class and Alessio Picariello ending up fourth in WeatherTech’s GTD Pro Porsche 911 GT3 R.

FIA World Endurance class champion Ferdinand Habsburg set the LMP2 pace with a 1:36.710 in Tower Motorsport’s Oreca 07 Gibson, while Porsche single-make champion Seb Priaulx held the edge in LMP3 with a 1:43.395 in Sean Creech Motorsport’s Ligier.

Next up on track is qualifying for Sunday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona qualifying race, with the first category due to head out at 3:25 p.m. ET. There will also be a fourth Roar track session later in the day.

RESULTS: Session 3

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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