BRAUN AND ACURA RIDERS DOMINATE ROAR BEFORE TESTING AT DAYTONA


The Acura ARX-06s dominated the traditional annual pre-race tests this weekend, the Roar Before tests for the 24 Hours of Daytona, an event scheduled for next weekend on the Floridian ring.

Simon PAGENAUD, one of the drivers of the ACURA Number 60, the fastest

Important tests which marked the real debut of the new cars in the LMDH category before the 24 Hours of Daytona, the opening round each year of the International endurance season.

The Japanese Acura prototype designed by the French firm Oreca, but well developed by Acura, the American branch of Honda, achieved the five fastest times, with its pilots, at the end of the two days of driving!

And it’s Colin Braun who takes the lead at the top of his timesheet, with 1’35″038reference time obtained during the fourth test session.

The Texan, who this year finally has his first chance to ride in the premier category after years in endurance racing, allowed his team, that of the Meyer Shank, to set the best time.

During the fifth session, it must be said, there were few cars on the track because of the rain, but in general the night session sees fewer participants turn.

The second best result, separated by a tenthwas obtained by the very experienced New Zealander Brendon Hartley, with the Acura ARX-06 of Team WTR Andretti with as a time 1’35″156.

Third overall for Brazilian veteran Helio Castroneves – former multiple Indy 500 winner – during the second session, still with the Meyer Shank car, followed by one of Hartley’s partners, Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque, and the third Meyer Shank driver, Briton Tom Blomqvist.

The first of the Dallara-based BMWs, with Philipp Eng, concedes three tenths of a secondthe two M-Hybrid V8s rode in pairs as Porsche lined up behind them with Nick Tandy as the fastest driver.

Further the Cadillacs, and in particular that of the Chip Ganassi but further half a second.

Overall, the performances appeared very close, with 22 drivers and 9 cars in the same second!

After a development phase where the new platform gave some reliability headaches, especially for the hybrid component, the teams now seem to have reached a good level of reliability and performance.

There were no problems during this Roar Before the 24.

The LMP2 category saw the APR team win with Ben Hanley setting the fastest time.

Second place for the TDS team, with the Danish driver who drives for Peugeot in the World WEC, Mikel Jensen and third place for the Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre with the Oreca 07 of PR1 Mathiasen.

Lexus and Aston Martin lead the GTD Pro. Ben Barnicoat set the fastest time for Team Vasser-Sullivan, followed by the Heart of Racing and TGM/TF teams.

Fourth fastest of the Mercedes with Frenchman Jules Gounon, fifth fastest of the Lamborghini Iron Lynx of Andrea Caldarelli.

The new Ferrari 296s are more detached, Alessandro Pier Guidi being the fastest in Maranello with more than seven tenths of a second.

Just like the Lamborghini Huracan with in particular the one where Frenchman Romain Grosjean drives

And the women’s, third Lambo of the Iron Lynx team!

Then, we point to the Porsche 992 Evo which appeared in great difficulty, behind in terms of top speed.

In GTD, McLaren is in the lead with Frederik Schandorff, who was also faster than the “Pros” as was Andy Lally with Aston, while the Andretti team with Dakota Dickerson and Gabby Chaves won in LMP3.

Qualifying for next weekend’s 24 Hours of Daytona is scheduled for today.

Peter GRISWOLD

Photos: IMSA – TEAMS

THE RESULTS OF THE LMDH TESTS

1 – Braun/Blomqvist/Castroneves/Pagenaud (Acura ARX-06) Meyer Shank, in 1’35″038

2 – Albuquerque/Taylor/Deletraz/Hartley (Acura ARX-06) Wayne Taylor Andretti, in 1’35″156

3 – Farfus /Eng/Wittmann/Herta (BMW M Hybrid V8) Rahal Letterman Lanigan, in 1’35″372

4 – Yelloly/De Phillippi/van der Linde/Herta (BMW M Hybrid V8) Rahal Letterman Lanigan, in 1’35″458

5 – Tandy/Jaminet/Cameron/Brendon (Porsche 963) Penske, in 1’35″498

6 – Van Der Zande/Bourdais/Dixon (Cadillac V-LMDh) Chip Ganassi, in 1’35″585

7 – Nasr/Campbell/Christensen (Porsche 963) Penske, in 1’35″601

8 – Sims/Derani/Aitken/Herta (Cadillac V-LMDh) Action Express Racing, in 1’35″819

9 – Lynn/Bamber/Westbrook (Cadillac V-LMDh) Chip Ganassi, in 1’35″994



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