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Bourdais Puts Ganassi On Top in Final Rolex 24 Practice

Sebastien Bourdais posts best lap time of Rolex 24 practice in fourth and final session…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest lap in the fourth and final practice session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, putting Chip Ganassi Racing on top of the overall leaderboard for the first time since the start of track action at last week’s Roar.

Bourdais ended up as the quickest driver across all Rolex 24 practice sessions with a time of 1:34.732 in the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R that he shares with Renger van der Zande, Scott Dixon and Alex Palou.

The Frenchman hit the front just before the 20-minute mark in the one-hour session with the first sub-1m 35s lap time, before removing a couple of tenths with a subsequent improvement.

Rainfall on Thursday forced the field to adopt wet weather tires, however better conditions on Friday morning allowed for the slick Michelins to be rolled out.

Bourdais’ compatriot and fellow reigning Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner Loic Duval ended up second by a margin of 0.363 seconds in the JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac. Jose Maria Lopez ranked third for Action Express, half a second off the pace.

Two more Cadillacs from Ganassi and Action Express rounded out the top five, leaving the Acura ARX-05s from Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing at the foot of the DPi order. WTR’s Alexander Rossi was the top Acura driver with a late 1:36.049.

Phil Hanson led the LMP2 class with a 1:37.639 effort driving the United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson, while Rasmus Lindh posted a 1:44.015 to head up LMP3 in the Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

GTD Pro pole-sitter TR3 Racing went quickest in the class courtesy of Lamborghini factory ace Mirko Bortolotti’s time of 1:46.085 that came at the 40-minute mark.

Bortolotti edged ahead of WeatherTech Racing Porsche driver Matteo Cairoli and early pace-setter Jack Hawksworth from the Vasser Sullivan Lexus squad.

GTD leader Jan Heylen infiltrated the top-four quickest cars in GTD Pro with a 1:46.399 number aboard Wright Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The session was briefly red-flagged with 12 minutes to go when Alex Riberas’ The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 came to a halt at the Bus Stop with an unknown issue that required a system reset. Track action then resumed for a green conclusion.

Next up for the 61-car IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship field is the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, starting at 1:40 p.m. ET on Saturday.

RESULTS: Practice 4

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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