Photo: Courtesy of IMSA

Rolex 24 at Daytona Qualifying Recap

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

Qualifying for the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona was a tense affair and it came down to a last lap dash by Renger van der Zande as he pushed his Wayne Taylor Racing No. 10 Cadillac DPi to pole position ahead of Saturday’s racing classic with a fastest lap of 1:36.083.

That lap was .007 seconds faster than Helio Castroneves’s in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura. Behind them, Action Express Racing has their No. 5 Cadillac DPi ahead of Performance Tech Motorsports’s ORECA LMP2 machine in their Prototype debut.

In fact, all four Cadillac DPi machines qualified first, third, fifth and seventh. The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac DPi was fifth while Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi was seventh.

GT Le Mans

In GTLM, Corvette Racing is on pole with Jan Magnussen giving the American manufacturer a sweet present to kick off their 20th season in racing as the C7.R turned a lap of 1:42.779. Corvette Racing’s biggest rivals were only .019 seconds behind in second as the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Joey Hand was second quickest. Porsche were third and fourth with the No. 912 ahead of the 911.

The No. 67 Ford GT was fifth ahead of the No. 4 Corvette while the rest of the GTLM field was the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari and the Nos. 25 and 24 BMW M8s.

GT Daytona

The GTD field will be seeing Rosso Corsa at the front as two Ferrari 488 GT3 cars will lead the field to the green flag. The No. 51 Spirit of Race machine will be looking to give its four drivers their first Rolex 24 victory as Paul Dalla Lana secured pole position with a lap of 1:46.049. Risi Competizione’s No. 82 machine was second fastest almost a full half second behind the No. 51.

The No. 11 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 had qualified third but a technical infringement will move them to the back of the field. In their place goes the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 Machine of Jack Hawksworth of 3GT Racing. Scuderia Corsa’s No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Jeff Segal will round out the second row.

The full results from qualifying can be viewed here.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.