22 January 2015
Rolex 24: MSR Ligier dominates Daytona practice
The Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 leads the way in both free practice sessions for the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The new Honda-powered Michael Shank Racing Ligier heads into qualifying for the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona as a firm favourite for pole position after topping both free practice sessions around the famous speedway.
Going quickest in FP1 courtesy of Oswaldo Negri Jr – who will share the P2 car with AJ Allmendinger, Matt McMurry and john Pew -, the local driver's lap of 1min 39.629secs in FP2 improved the benchmark by four thousandths of a second and kept comfortably clear of the opposition.
Having been more than a second clear of their rivals in the morning, a four tenth margin would split it from the Action Express Corvette of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais in the afternoon, with the Krohn Ligier-Judd confirming the eye-catching pace of the new JS P2 by going third fastest.
The VisitFlorida.com Corvette of Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller followed in fourth, with the Chip Ganassi Ford of Joey Hand, Scott Pruett, Charlie Kimball and Sage Karam completing the top five.
Elsewhere, DeltaWing endured a torrid start to the Rolex 24 after a gearbox break during FP1, an issue that carried through to FP2. Going into qualifying, the car is yet to complete a lap today.
Indeed, it was a difficult day for several Prototype runners, with the new HPD-ARX suffering gremlins that would restrict it to running just a single car during each session, while neither Mazda SkyActiv machines nor the Starworks Corvette headed up by Rubens Barrichello made it out for FP2.
Reigning champions Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins and James Gue headed up the PC class, with the AF Corse Ferrari of Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard, Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander leading GTLM.
In the GTD class, the TI Automotive Dodge Viper of Jeroen Bleekemolen, Marc Goosens, Al Carter and Ben Keating topped the FP2 standings.
Qualifying takes place later today with 15 minutes sessions for each class, with an additional practice session taking place for drivers to get accustomed to the floodlights.
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