Acura heads Porsche in first official IMSA GTP test at Daytona Roar

Colin Braun set the pace for Acura in the opening official practice session of the reborn GTP era of the IMSA SportsCar Championship at Daytona.

Acura heads Porsche in first official IMSA GTP test at Daytona Roar

Braun lapped the 3.56-mile road course, which hosts the Daytona 24 Hours next weekend, in 1m35.635s to top the timesheet in the opening session of the three-day ‘Roar Before The 24’ event in the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06.

Three of the four GTP manufacturers headed the times at some point in the thrice-interrupted 90-minute session, and Acura, Porsche and BMW were separated by only 0.173s.

Braun set the early pace at 1m37.694s, quickly topped by Philipp Eng’s #24 BMW Team RLL M Hybrid V8 on 1m37.460s and then 1m36.336s. Nick Yelloly then made it a BMW 1-2 in the sister #25 car, 0.12s down.

Felipe Nasr then put the #7 Penske Porsche 963 on top with 1m35.776s, with Ricky Taylor lapping the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06 within 0.027s of that. Yelloly improved to 1m35.808s for third, 0.032s off the pace.

Braun reset the P1 bar with 1m35.635s with just over half an hour remaining, 0.141s ahead of Nasr, which stood for the fastest time of the session. Taylor was third, ahead of Yelloly, Matthieu Jaminet (in the #6 Porsche) and Eng.

Cadillac Racing kept its power dry in this session, with the Chip Ganassi Racing V-LMDh cars over a second off the pace in seventh and eighth, Earl Bamber in the #02 ahead of Sebastien Bourdais in the #01, while the Action Express Racing version only managed four installation laps in Pipo Derani’s hands.

In LMP2, Alex Quinn set the pace in PR1/Mathiasen’s ORECA, 0.184s faster than Oliver Jarvis aboard Era Motorsport’s similar machine. Scott McLaughlin quickly got to grips with Tower’s ORECA, the IndyCar star rising to third, four tenths off the class pace.

Cameron Shields’ Ligier topped the LMP3 class for Performance Tech Motorsports, ahead of Joao Barbosa’s Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier.

There was an early red flag for the #17 AWA Duqueine of Nicolas Varrone, which expired in a cloud of steam on its first attempted flying lap. That was followed by another stoppage when the #74 Riley Ligier of Felipe Fraga ground to a halt at Turn 7.

#963 Porsche Penske Motorsport, Porsche 963, GTP: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell

#963 Porsche Penske Motorsport, Porsche 963, GTP: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell

Photo by: Porsche

Meanwhile Aston Martin set the pace in the GT Daytona ranks, with Andy Lally (Magnus Racing) heading Ross Gunn (Heart of Racing) and Owen Trinkler (TGM/TF Sport).

Jack Hawksworth was the best of the rest in the VasserSullivan Lexus RC F, ahead of the Racer’s Edge Acura NSX of Kyle Marcelli.

The third red flag of the session was caused by Jordan Taylor’s Corvette stopping at Turn 8 with a loose wheel.

After another four practice sessions over the coming two days, qualifying for the Daytona 24 Hours takes place on Sunday at 13:25 local time.

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