IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams have a qualifying session during the Roar Before the 24 in order to determine pit and garage selections for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It’s also meant to curb sandbagging. Mazda Team Joest was most definitely not sandbagging on Sunday. Oliver Jarvis unofficially broke the 25-year old track record in setting the best time of the session.
Jarvis’ lap was clocked at 137.219 mph, more than a half-second faster than PJ Jones’ official track record from 1993. The lap was ultimately three-hundredths of a second faster than teammate Harry Tincknell. Acura Team Penske’s Ricky Taylor in third was nearly seven-eighths of a second off of Jarvis in the best non-Mazda. Action Express Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque was fourth, while teammate Felipe Nasr was fifth.
LMP2 saw PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Gabriel Aubry top the chart with a lap at 133.597 mph. The lap, which was good enough for 11th overall, was the fastest LMP2 lap of the entire weekend. Aubry’s lap was three-eighths of a second faster than James Allen in DragonSpeed’s No. 81 ORECA 07-Gibson.
Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen was fastest in GT Le Mans with a lap at 124.850 mph, a full four-tenths of a second faster than any GT Le Mans lap turned in the seven regular on-track sessions. Magnussen’s time was one-eighth of a second faster than Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSA’s Richard Westbrook. Joey Hand was third in the second Ford GT with Porsche GT Team’s Earl Bamber close in tow. Nick Tandy was fifth in the No. 911 Porsche. The entire class was separated by just over six-tenths of a second.
Finally, GT Daytona teams held their qualifying session prior to the night session on Saturday (Jan. 5). P1 Motorsports’ Dominik Baumann turned in the fastest time, but ran afoul of the rules. IMSA rules for GT Daytona qualifying sessions in 2019 require that a Bronze or Silver-rated driver qualify the car. Baumann is Gold-rated. As a result, P1 Motorsports’ times were thrown out.
The exclusion of P1 Motorsports from the session gave the class pole to Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Ana Beatriz with a lap at 121.436 mph. That lap was five-hundredths of a second faster than AIM Vasser Sullivan’s No. 12 Lexus driven by Frankie Montecalvo. Trent Hindman qualified the Shank No. 86 Acura in third, while Riley Motorsports’ Ben Keating was fourth. Scuderia Corsa’s Jeff Westphal was fifth quickest.
Had Baumann been Silver-rated, his lap during the session would have been the fastest GT Daytona lap of the entire weekend. Since it was thrown out, Hindman’s lap that topped Session No. 4 on Saturday was the fastest official GT Daytona lap of the weekend, just four-thousandths of a second faster than Beatriz’s qualifying time
Only 20 of the 23 GT Daytona teams set times in the 15-minute session. The most notable team not to take time was Paul Miller Racing, the defending GT Daytona champions.