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Mazda Leads Opening Day at Roar as Pla Goes Quickest

Olivier Pla heads up the Friday times at Daytona Speedway while Mazda goes 1-2…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Mazda Team Joest finished first and second in the DPi timing sheets as Olivier Pla set the fastest lap on the opening day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test at Daytona.

Pla, who shares the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P DPi with Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez, posted a time of 1:35.794 to beat his teammate Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 by 0.080 seconds.

Both Mazda drivers’ times eclipsed the best effort from Friday’s opening session set by Bomarito’s co-driver Harry Tincknell.

Third-quickest at the end of the opening day of testing was the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R in which Filipe Albuquerque registered a 1:36.273.

The Portuguese driver’s lap during the second session set the Action Express-run Cadillac ahead of the two Acura Team Penske ARX-05s which finished fourth and fifth-quickest.

The best Acura DPi time of the day was a 1:36.382 which came courtesy of Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 machine.

In GT Le Mans, Colton Herta topped the table for BMW Team RLL and blocked out the two Porsche 911 RSR-19s which ended up second and third in the seven-car class.

Herta, who was the second-fastest driver in class in the first session, improved further to a 1:44.239 that beat Porsche drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Fred Makowiecki by three-tenths.

However, neither of the Porsche drivers in session two managed to beat the 1:44.271 laid down by Makowiecki’s teammate Nick Tandy in the morning.

Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 488 GTE Evo was the fourth-quickest GTLM car of the day thanks to Daniel Serra, while Corvette’s pair of C8.Rs rounded out the order behind the other RLL BMW.

Simon Trummer clocked the fastest LMP2 class lap of the day in the final five minutes of the session behind the wheel of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Oreca 07 Gibson.

Blancpain GT Series champion Marco Mapelli produced the quickest afternoon time in the GT Daytona class for the GRT Magnus Lamborghini squad, but didn’t manage to beat Jack Hawksworth’s marker set earlier in the day for Lexus outfit AIM Vasser Sullivan.

Friday afternoon’s running was truncated by a single red flag period lasting seven minutes for debris on-track.

Roar action will resume tomorrow with a 60-minute session bookmarked for 10:15 a.m. ET.

RESULTS: Roar Session 2

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

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