Home Sports Rolex 24: Castroneves’ late flyer puts MSR top in second Roar session

Rolex 24: Castroneves’ late flyer puts MSR top in second Roar session



On his fifth lap, Filipe Albuquerque in the #10 Acura ARX-06 of Wayne Taylor Racing beat the fastest lap that Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura, driven by Colin Braun, set in the morning session. A 1min35.580sec around the 3.56-mile course put him some 1.6sec ahead of his nearest opposition, which came from the #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh and the two BMW M Hybrid V8s.

Albuquerque then raised the bar to 1min35.320sec, and Earl Bamber’s Cadillac was 0.7sec adrift, but still ahead of teammate Scott Dixon in the #01 sister car.

Both of the CGR Cadillacs were displaced by Blomqvist once the MSR team had overcome issues with a pitlane speedlimiter that wouldn’t release, and he moved up into second behind the Wayne Taylor Racing Andretti Autosport team to complete an Acura 1-2.

This was spoiled by Dixon getting into second place, 0.265sec from top spot, but Simon Pagenaud trimmed the MSR Acura’s deficit down to less than half a tenth before pitting.

His teammate in IMSA and IndyCar, Helio Castroneves, did rather better than that, and moved to the top of the times with a 1min35.210sec with under three minutes to go and backed this up with a 1min35.310sec.

Thus Castroneves led an Acura 1-2 by 0.110sec, he and Albuquerque sharing the three fastest sector times.

That left Dixon’s best Cadillac time some 0.375sec adrift in third, although the six-time IndyCar champion was a similar distance ahead of the fastest of the Porsche Penske 963s, Michael Christensen’s #7 entry.

Bamber was barely half a tenth slower in the second Ganassi Cadillac, ahead of Sheldon van der Linde’s best effort in the quicker BMW, while Marco Wittmann was a further half a second adrift.

The second Porsche 963, shared by Mathieu Jaminet, Dane Cameron and Nick Tandy, turned only nine laps with technical issues that Cameron didn’t wish to share with IMSA Radio, but their late appearance on track was still enough time for Tandy and Jaminet to push the Action Express Racing Cadillac of Jack Aitken down to the bottom. 


Matthieu Vaxiviere was the first driver in class to bust below the 100sec barrier, setting a 1min39.835sec on his fifth lap in the AF Corse machine, but then Ben Keating in the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry went almost half a second quicker.

It took only until his third lap for Mikkel Jensen’s TDS Racing car to trim 0.64sec from that to go fastest, and his 1min38.730sec stood firm as the top time in class for the remainder of the session.

Vaxiviere trimmed a few hundredths from his best to take second, but was still 0.6sec from Jensen, with Keating third. Christian Rasmussen was the fastest of Era Motorsport’s drivers to nab fourth ahead of Scott McLaughlin who again impressed in the Tower Motorsports entry.


Felipe Fraga in the #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier which ran only three laps in the first session was the first car to hit the track in the second, and he produced a 1min43.389. However, Gabby Chaves in the Andretti Autosport Ligier eclipsed that with a 1min42.926, and that was the fastest lap for the LMP3 machines.

Former Rolex 24 winner Joao Barbosa left it until the last minute to move the Sean Creech Motorsports car into second, 0.45sec adrift, mere hundredths ahead of Fraga’s former benchmark. The impressive Yu Kanamaru of FastMD Racing was fourth in the fastest of the Duqueine cars.

#75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes AMG GT3: Fabian Schiller, Axcil Jefferies

#75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes AMG GT3: Fabian Schiller, Axcil Jefferies

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

GTD Pro and GTD

Fabian Schiller moved to the top of the table early on, producing a 1min47.020sec in the SunEnergy1 Mercedes AMG GT3, less than a tenth faster than Parker Thompson’s Lexus RC F run by Vasser Sullivan Racing.

Nicki Thiim in the Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage and Russell Ward’s Winward Racing Mercedes were third and fourth at this stage, this quartet all swifter than the fastest GTD Pro cars – the second Lexus driven by Jack Hawksworth and the Heart of Racing Aston piloted by Alex Riberas.

When Ben Barnicoat took over the #14 GTD Pro Lexus, it moved up to shade its sister car by half a tenth, albeit 0.02sec off the SunEnergy1 car.

Luis Perez Companc moved AF Corse’s new Ferrari 296 GT3 into fifth in GTD ahead of Maxi Goetz’s Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes, while Mirko Bortolotti’s Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan was third of the GTD Pro runners.

Practice 3 runs for 90mins on Saturday, starting 11.15am local (Eastern) time.

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