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Nasr, AXR Fastest in Roar Qualifying

Felipe Nasr turned in the fastest lap of the Roar to date in the Qualifying session…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Felipe Nasr turned the fastest lap of the Roar Before the 24 to date and unofficially dipped below the track record in the Qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway.

The session was used to determine pit stall and garage locations for the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month.

Nasr’s best lap was his last, a rapid 1:35.806 in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Tristan Vautier was second 0.231 seconds adrift in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac.

It was the first sub-1:36 lap time of the modern IMSA era but it’s unclear if it will count toward the official track record.

In all, Cadillac took the top four spots overall with Filipe Albuquerque in third for AXR and Renger Van Der Zande fourth for Wayne Taylor Racing.

Dane Cameron brought the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 to the fifth-fastest time in the car’s competitive debut.

Joey Hand was fastest in the GT Le Mans session driving the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, edging Oliver Gavin in the second-place No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R by 0.030 seconds.

Hand’s teammate Ryan Briscoe checked in with the third-fastest time in the No. 67 Ford, followed by Earl Bamber in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR.

The sister No. 911 Porsche did not participate due to what the team termed a technical issue.

Reigning Blancpain GT champion Mirko Bortolotti led the way in the GT Daytona class qualifying in the No. 11 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3, a mere 0.062 seconds faster than Andy Lally in the Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the team’s return to IMSA competition.

Patrick Long’s final lap was his fastest and good enough for third in class in the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Wright Motorsports.

The No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini turned laps in the session while dealing with mechanical issues, and the No. 59 Manthey Porsche also did not venture out on track.

Of the 19 GT Daytona cars that did take part in the session, the top 18 were covered by less than one second.

One session remains at the Roar for the WeatherTech teams coming up 2:45 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.



  1. Jack

    January 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    He moving!!!

  2. Jack

    January 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    The cadilacs are running higher aero, per imsa, to reduce there top speed, problem is the have he same top speed with more aero, which means faster lap times. Same advantage the ligier’s has in 2016.

    • Steven

      January 7, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      The Dallara LMP2 was built with a lower overall downforce package compared against the Ligier and Oreca. So even with the Cadillacs running a higher wing, that just means they have even more stability in the car and their main advantage has always been the torque.

  3. Matt

    January 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Why would the lap not count towards the lap record? Unless he cut a corner, a fast lap is a fast lap. It shouldn’t matter if it was part of an “official session”.

    • Johannes275

      January 7, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      tell that to Formula One, and literally anyone else ever.

    • GTurner38

      January 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Of course it matters if it is in an official session. Laps run in practice sessions never count for track records.

      • Matt

        January 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm

        Yeah in my opinion, that should change.

        • Matt

          January 7, 2018 at 4:13 pm

          Also, what’s not official about a pro series sanctioned test session with a team running their car to the rules specification? I never understood this.

          • Andy

            January 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

            The teams are not required to go through tech inspection. That’s why it’s not official.

          • CarbonRocks

            January 7, 2018 at 8:18 pm

            After qualifying all cars went theough twxh inspection same as a normal qualifying event.

  4. Roger

    January 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Looks like the 24 hours of Caddy to me.

  5. Almzkid

    January 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Cadillacs over a second faster than 5th place, the next 13 cars all within a second, and it would have been 15 had the mazda not had a tech. Issue and Braun been in the core car. Imsa better act fast. The 5.5l seems to have made the car lighter and had no effect on the speed. reign them in before the privateers cut bait.

  6. Steven

    January 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Looks like the battle will be for 5th place for everyone else in Prototype. Atleast the GTLM and GTD racing will be the entertaining part.

    • Johannes275

      January 7, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      Don’t ever say that. This is a 24 hour race. You never know what happens.

      • Slow

        January 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        Except when the exact same thing happened last year with the caddys.

        • Johannes275

          January 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

          And one of them retired, so you can’t guarantee anything before the race starts.

          • Travis McBee

            January 7, 2018 at 7:07 pm

            The 31 didn’t retire last year, just finished 6th in class multiple laps down.

  7. Fisherman

    January 7, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    So we still have four classes, with CPI, DPI/P2, GTLM and GTD. I thought that once a car was homolgated, that was it, so why have Cadillac been allowed to change the engine? NASCAR precedence.

    • Max

      January 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      The homologation lock was only for LMP2 and the WEC doesn’t follow that anymore this season. It’s the Wild West again. DPI has been able to change engines the whole time. The new Cadillac engine is to make it easier to BoP against the P2s. It wasn’t designed to make them faster or slower.

      • GTurner38

        January 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm

        The ACO still has the cars locked into a homologation, but they exercised the clause in the rules to allow modifications if one make was clearly quicker.

  8. Kyle

    January 7, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    And now the BoP gods will attach boat anchors to the Cadillacs so they are as competitive as they were at the end of last season.

  9. Jessie

    January 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Do not worry, Imsa will throw in about twenty full course yellows and safety car periods for the other cars to keep up

    • Haskellb

      January 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Better to be quick on the draw with full course cautions than put people at risk like they do in F1.

    • Steve

      January 8, 2018 at 8:42 am

      I would be in favor of this. This keeps the leaders in check.

      Why isn’t stage racing used in the Rolex 24? Maybe you could have 12-16 stages and the final hour all the stage winners are placed on the lead lap for a shootout to the finish (Saturday night short track style).

  10. David Chaste

    January 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    The cadillacs can still be pegged back after the roar. Thats why they want everyone to ran at their best.

    The engine in the acura was the same engine in the esm and shank ligiers that won daytona and petit in 2016. So that thing is full of pace once they get it optimised for the oreca.

    In the cool morning and night time turbos will make more horsepower. Esm, penske, mazda.

    • Slow

      January 7, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      “Cooler night session” it was in the 30s and 40s all day Friday and Saturday and the caddy still was visibly faster.

  11. EricJ

    January 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Link to Results: Qualifying is bad.

    • Ryan Myrehn

      Ryan Myrehn

      January 7, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Should be working now. Thanks!

  12. Dan (not Gurney!)

    January 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The “unofficial” and “modern IMSA era” qualifiers are being used in association with Caddy’s 1:35.8 time because the real all time record is the Toyota Eagle Mk III’s time of 1:33.8 in 1993, a Dan Gurney managed team. I’m almost certain the track then was in its current configuration. Maybe a tiny difference around the horseshoe? Infield kink? The bus stop chicane was in then. Yep, it has taken 25 years for today’s IMSA sports cars to even approach the Eagle III. I remember that car was as fast as summer snot. Leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. Considering today that it was on 1990’s era tires and rubber and had a traditional clutch and 5 speed gated manual makes it all the more amazing.

    • TF110

      January 7, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      I can’t fathom what that car would do today on modern tires and some suspension rework. I think it’s sad that the modern cars are still around 2-3 seconds slower than the Toyota was. I know lmp1 would be faster, but IMSA prefers lmp2 and brick hard tires. Thankfully the rubber changes next season. As for qualifying it was just a matter of which Caddy it was up front.

      • Eric

        January 7, 2018 at 8:37 pm

        Is it that IMSA prefers hard tires and LMP2, or that IMSA prefers having more than 4 cars on the grid in their premier class?

    • Steven

      January 7, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      This is also not a top class…DPi is on par with LMP2 regulations. If the Toyota LMP1 would take a few laps around here, they would be in the mid 1:20’s.

      • tracer

        January 10, 2018 at 7:36 am

        Would love to see the 919 do some glory laps at Daytona just to see what time a LMP1-H can lay down there. Hoping that Porsche surprises us and adds Daytona to their list of stops during their farewell tour for the 919…

  13. Matt

    January 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    GTD 1 sec difference……..
    DAMN! XD

  14. David Chaste

    January 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Jon Bennett qualified the Core car. He owns it and all, but it’s still surprising.

    • Max

      January 8, 2018 at 2:25 am

      Some teams hang back to avoid wrecks at the front.

  15. DB

    January 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Considering all of the P2 cars are spec chasis that are cost copped and DPI’s have few mods to the body work and just different engines…where as the Toyota was a full fledged factory effort…plus the Prototypes are slowed down, with today’s technology they could destroy that time. Not taking anything away from the Eagle, it was beautiful.

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