Mazda Sport Team Joest’s Rene Rast set the pace in the opening IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session at Daytona Thursday morning.
The German driver put his Mazda RT24-P to the top of the timesheets with a 1:37.428 late in the session, beating a trio of Cadillac DPi-V.Rs.
Rast shares the No. 77 Mazda DPi with Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez.
Tristan Vautier had held the top spot for Spirit of Daytona Racing for much of the 60-minute session with a lap time just 0.007 seconds slower than Rast’s.
They were followed by the Wayne Taylor Racing and No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillacs while Alex Brundle’s Jackie Chan DCR JOTA Oreca 07 Gibson completed the top-five.
No fewer than 13 Prototypes were classified within one second in a very close-fought session.
Joey Hand secured the top spot in GT Le Mans for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, five-tenths ahead of Laurens Vanthoor’s Porsche 911 RSR.
A pair of Ferrari 488 GT3s were quickest in GT Daytona with Miguel Molina fastest in the No. 82 Risi Competizione car ahead of Pedro Lamy in the Spirit of Race entry.
The session was red-flagged for nine minutes early on after United Autosports’ Phil Hanson had a collision at the second horseshoe.
Hanson’s car, which features two-time Formula One world champion, did not return to action in the session.
Trouble also struck the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE and No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, which had limited running after mechanical problems for both GTLM cars.
Practice 2 will take place at 1:40 p.m. local time ahead of qualifying at 3:55 p.m.
RESULTS: Practice 1