Ben Keating was the fastest LMP2 qualifier and Frankie Montecalvo was the fastest in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in Saturday’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying sessions used to determine pit and garage spaces for the Rolex 24 At Daytona event week.
Keating ran a best lap of one minute, 38.056 seconds (130.694 mph) in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07 LMP2 machine he is co-driving with Nick Boulle, Simon Trummer and Gabriel Aubry. The Texan is pulling double duty at the Roar and will be again in three weeks at the 58th Rolex 24 At Dayton. He also is competing in the GTD class alongside co-drivers Gar Robinson, Lawson Aschenbach and Felipe Fraga in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Keating said. “The car’s been great. Everybody at the PR1 team, they’ve got the car extremely well sorted. The last time I raced an LMP2 car was at Le Mans and I’ll just say the car wasn’t as well sorted. It’s nice to get in a car that has had a season or two under its belt to get everything sorted out and all I have to do is hop in and drive. It’s been really good.”
Henrik Hedman was second quickest in the 15-minute LMP2 qualifying session aboard the No. 81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA at 1:38.695 (129.848 mph), followed by Kyle Masson in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA at 1:38.712 (129.826 mph).
Meanwhile, in the 15-minute GTD session that immediately preceded LMP2, Montecalvo drove the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to a best lap of 1:46.754 (120.046 mph). He is returning for the full 2020 WeatherTech Championship with co-driver Townsend Bell and will share the car with Shane van Gisbergen and Aaron Telitz for the Rolex 24.
“With the changing conditions, I think our car from AIM Vasser Sullivan suits this well,” Montecalvo said. “The team did a phenomenal car getting the RC F right on track from where we left off last year and that year of experience really shows for us. The guys did a great job.”
Second in GTD qualifying was 2019 WeatherTech Championship LMP2 champion Matt McMurry in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 at 1:46.873 (119.912 mph), followed by Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 with a lap of 1:46.919 (119.860 mph).
Similar qualifying sessions will be held early Sunday afternoon for the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes.
Article from IMSA Website, republished for UK readers