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Taylor Leads Acura DPi 1-2 in Opening Roar Session

Ricky Taylor fastest for Wayne Taylor Racing in opening practice session of Daytona event…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Wayne Taylor Racing driver Ricky Taylor set the pace in the opening practice session of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 to lead a 1-2 result for Acura DPi entries.

Taylor turned in a time of 1:35.309 behind the wheel of the No. 10 Acura ARX-05 to lead the 75-minute session, while Oliver Jarvis ranked second with a 1:35.602 effort in the No. 60 Acura from Meyer Shank Racing.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillac DPi-V.Rs ended up third and fourth, with Sebastien Bourdais lapping 0.633 seconds behind Taylor in third and Kevin Magnussen coming through in fourth, two-hundredths of a second behind his teammate.

Magnussen’s co-driver Alex Lynn initially ran third but was overtaken by a Bourdais improvement after 45 minutes, before Magnussen reduced the gap between the Ganassi cars.

Kamui Kobayashi was fifth in the No. 48 Action Express Cadillac, ahead of JDC-Miller Motorsports’ Tristan Nunez and Action Express driver Pipo Derani.

The first of four Roar practice sessions included two red flags that bookended a long period of green flag running in the middle.

A stoppage for the No. 26 Muehlner Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan on its out-lap caused the first red, which was cleared after 11 minutes of session time.

The second short intervention occured with 11 minutes to go when an errant tire blocked the entrance to the pit lane.

IMSA’s new GT Daytona Pro category, which has replaced GT Le Mans, made its on-track introduction with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo topping the times.

Marco Mapelli was the quickest GTD Pro driver with a 1:46.829 effort for TR3 Racing, however the best outright GT driver was Jan Heylen in Wright Motorsports’ GTD-class Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Reigning IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS champion Heylen reeled off a 1:46.483 in the early stages of the session to take an overall lead that he would maintain until the end of proceedings.

The No. 19 TR3 Lamborghini, which is also entered in GTD, ranked third in the combined GT order while Pfaff Motorsports Porsche driver Matt Campbell was second-fastest in the Pro division on a 1:46.942.

Philipp Eng in the factory No. 24 BMW M4 GT3, Maro Engel in the No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 completed the GTD Pro top-five.

Giedo van der Garde set the LMP2 pace for Racing Team Nederland and was, at one stage, fourth in the overall order ahead of three DPi entries.

Despite dropping behind the DPi pack, the Dutchman paced the second-tier prototype class on a 1:36.262 in the No. 29 Oreca 07 Gibson, putting the ex-FIA World Endurance Championship Nederland squad less than a second shy of the outright pace.

LMP3 was led by Garett Grist, who posted a time of 1:43.413 in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

Friday’s second Roar practice session is due to start at 4:15 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: Session 1

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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