The third and final day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 has acquired added significance. Even though the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA is three weeks away, qualifying starts on Sunday.
A special qualifying session is on tap, supplying a different and unique twist to the Roar, the annual preseason test for the Rolex 24. Sunday, from 11:25 a.m.–12:30 p.m., the three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes competing in the Rolex 24 – Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona – will qualify separately. And collectively, the session will determine the selection of pits and garage stalls for the running of North America’s premier sports car race on Jan. 27-28.
There will also be two Rolex 24 practice sessions on Sunday, before and after the qualifying session.
Morning and afternoon sessions Saturday on the 3.56-mile road course were led by Jordan Taylor in the Konica Minolta Business Solutions Cadillac DPi (1 minute, 37.188 seconds, 131.861 mph) and Felipe Nasr in the Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi (1:36.973/132.154).
Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, who is experiencing Daytona International Speedway for the first time this weekend, continued his indoctrination. Driving a Ligier LMP2 Prototype for United Autosports, Alonso was 17th fastest in the morning session (1:38.072/130.673). He did not go out in the afternoon.
Also Saturday, the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda opened its season with a one-hour, 45-minute race – another new look for the Roar. Sixteen-year-old Roman De Angelis of Belle River, Ontario drove the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3 to victory after starting eighth in the 25-car field.
"We did not expect this at the beginning of the week because we didn’t have too much pace coming in," De Angelis said. "But I think from the beginning [of the race] we had a car to beat and a consistent car."
Tickets for the Roar Before the Rolex 24, the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 and other Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
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