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Pla Records Fastest-Ever Lap at Daytona in Roar Qualifying

New unofficial record set around Daytona as Pla paces Roar qualifying for Mazda…

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

Olivier Pla set the fastest-ever lap around Daytona International Speedway to top Sunday’s qualifying session that decides pit box positions for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Pla turned in a time of 1:33.324 aboard the No. 77 Mazda RT-24P DPi, eclipsing the previous best of 1:33.398 recorded by his current co-driver Oliver Jarvis last year.

Pla and Jarvis will share driving duties in this month’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener with Tristan Nunez.

Second-quickest in the 15-minute mock qualifying session for the top prototype class was Acura Team Penske’s Ricky Taylor who ended up 0.219 seconds off the leading figure.

The two Acuras were separated by just 0.022 seconds as Juan Pablo Montoya slotted into third, while Felipe Nasr lapped fourth-fastest in the best of the Cadillac DPi-V.Rs.

Mazda’s second car ended up fifth with Jonathan Bomarito at the helm, ahead of the two JDC-Miller Motorsports-run Cadillacs driven by Tristan Vautier and Joao Barbosa.

Renger van der Zande rounded out the DPi class order in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac with a time of 1:34.226.

GT Le Mans pit box qualifying saw all seven cars fall within half a second of the benchmark set by James Calado in the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

The Risi Competizione Ferrari driver’s 1:42.685 flyer pipped Porsche ace Nick Tandy by 0.001 seconds and established a new fastest lap of the weekend in the process.

Tommy Milner further improved the new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s best effort of the Roar with a time of 1:42.793 to go third-quickest, 0.108 seconds off Calado.

In fourth was the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE which Jesse Krohn took around the 3.56-mile Daytona infield course in 1:42.844.

Laurens Vanthoor placed fifth for Porsche, ahead of BMW’s Philipp Eng and Corvette’s Antonio Garcia.

This weekend’s Roar on-track action will conclude with a seventh collective test session for all classes at 2:45 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: DPi/GTLM Roar Qualifying

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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