Mazda

  • Daytona lap record looks set to fall.

    Lap times fell on the second day of running at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Mazda leading the way throughout, Jonathan Bomarito setting the fastest time of the day in the night session with a 1:34.533 in the #55 Mazda Team Joest DPi. Times weren't just falling in the DPi class however, most of the field were lapping faster than the best race times from 2018.

    Harry Tincknell was the first to break the 1:35 mark in the first session of the day, the Mazda running fastest and closing in on the 1993 lap record, a 1:33.875 set in a Toyota Eagle MK III. Tincknell set a time of 1:34.925, Fernando Alonso just behind with a time of 1:35.052 before the session closed. Renger Van Der Zande fought back in the fourth session though, the times dropping again to 1:34.534 in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac. Ricky Taylor put the #7 Acura ARX-05 second in the fourth session with a time of 1:35.017 with the top three rounded out by Mike Conway in the Action Express Cadillac.

    Jonathan Bomarito fought back in the final session of the day, and the first night practice session for the class of 2019. It was a close fought session though, Bomarito going just 0.444 faster than Van Der Zande by the end of the session. Initially Bomarito was just 0.001 seconds faster than Renger Van Der Zande but as the session wore on, the Mazda crew pulled further ahead. The #55 Mazda went six tenths up in the final stages of the session before the #31 Action Express Cadillac of Pipo Derrani fought back to split the two Mazda's with a time of 1:35.179.

    The #52 PR1 Oreca finished the second day at the top of the time sheets, Gabriel Aubry once again at the front and over a half a second up on Ben Hanley in the DragonSpeed Oreca. Aubry set a time of 1:36.99, 2.457 seconds off the pace of the front running DPi cars.

    Porsche finished 1-2 in GTLM in the final session of the day, the #911 ahead of the #912, former Porsche LMP1 driver Nick Tandy posting a time of 1:43.402 to close of the days action. Porsche lead the way in the first session of the morning, Mathieu Jaminet topping the times with a 1:43.862 in the #912 just 0.007 seconds up on Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette. Ford fought back in the second session of the day, Scott Dixon taking the fastest time of the GTLM class at the Roar so far with a time of 1:43.148, 0.075 up on Patrick Pilet in the #911. Scott Dixon couldn't quite beat the Porsche's at night, coming within four tenths of Tandy in the night session.

    Porsche also lead the way in the first session of GTD, the #540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Matteo Cairoli setting a time of 1:45.919, 0.026 quicker than the #96 Acura NSX of Trent Hindman and Meyer Shank Racing w/Curb-Agajanian. Hindman took the top spot in session two of the day though, going quicker again with a time of 1:45.533, eight tenths up on the #57 sister car. Paul Dalla Lana caused the only red flag of the session, the Canadian this time at the wheel of a Ferrari 488 GT3 rather than the Aston Martin Vantage GTE car he runs in the WEC, hit the barrier head on at the second horseshoe in the final moments of the session. The #13 Via Italia 488 GT3 Ferrari finished the day at the top of the time sheets, Victor Franzoni setting a time of 1:45.842, two tenths faster than the #71 P1 Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 which took second.

    All images courtesy of IMSA

  • Kobayashi heads Roar second session

    Kobayashi tops rain soaked second session.

    Session two of the 2019 Roar Before the 24 was interrupted by torrential rain, giving the teams a good opportunity to test the new Michelin wets before the session was red flagged. Kobayashi posted an early time of 1:36.596, just 0.008 faster than the #55 Mazda which finished the session in second. The #77 car was just 0.242 seconds off the pace before the rain came down.

    The #50 Juncos Cadillac took third ahead of the #7 Acura which rounded out the top five. The CORE Nissan DPi managed to set its first times of the day, finishing eighth in class with a time of 1:37.522.

    Three of the four LMP2 cars took part in the second session, the #81 Dragonspeed Oreca making its first appearance taking second in class with a time of 1:39.788, 0.213 behind Matt McMurry in the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Oreca. The #18 Dragonspeed Oreca still remained in the garage.

    The sole entry Ferrari, run by Risi Competizione topped the session with a time of 1:44.718, topping the session by just a tenth of a second. Ryan Briscoe put the #67 Ford into second position ahead of Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette. the #912 Porsche took fourth place, meaning there were four different manufacturers all separated by less than three tenths of a second.

    The #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes topped the times again, Jeroen Bleekemolen going fastest again with a time of 1:46.452. The #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari took second place with the #96 Turner BMW M6 GT3 of Jens Klingmann took third.

    All images courtesy of IMSA

  • Mazda top Roar Before the 24 Qualifying

    Mazda have dominated all weekend at the Roar Before the 24, threatening all day Saturday to beat the PJ Jones lap record of the Daytona infield set in 1993, Oliver Jarvis unofficially smashed the record on his third qualifying run with a time of 1:33.398, half a second faster than the 1:33.875 set by PJ Jones in the AAR Toyota Eagle MK III. Harry Tincknell was the only visible competition for the former Audi WEC driver, Tincknell 0.025 of a second further back.

    “It felt incredible, big thanks to Mazda Team Joest, Multimatic and AER,” Jarvis said. “The tyre is outperforming last year, the car has been an absolute joy to drive. We ran full qualifying spec, we pushed the car to the limit and that’s what we love as drivers, getting everything out of the car. This is confidence inspiring, we’ve got a good package, we’ve done tons of work over the winter. We’ve had a really good Roar, when you look back at how tough it was last year, but we know that our competitors will be closer when we come back later this month.”

    Ricky Taylor was eight tenths off the pace in third, the #7 Cadillac set a time of 1:34.261 taking third ahead of the #5 Action Express Cadillac of Filipe Albuquerque. Filipe Nasr completed the top five.

    Once again, Gabriel Aubry lead the LMP2 field in the PR1 Oreca leading the #81 and #18 DragonSpeed cars with a time of 1:35.930.

    The #3 Corvette qualified first in GTLM, Jan Magnussen setting a time of 1:42.651, the fastest ever GTLM lap around Daytona. Magnussen and Richard Westbrook in the #67 Ford exchanged fastest laps at the front before setting a 1:42.779 and boxing early.

    “Come Qualifying we did what we did last year, agreed who would tow who, and it was me again getting towed by the other car with Oliver in, he did a great job placing himself at Turn 6 so I could tow past him. We did the exact thing last year to get pole last year. It worked well for us” said Magnussen after the session. The #66 Ford took third ahead of the two Porsches which had performed so well on Saturday. Earl Bamber lead Nick Tandy across the line, Bamber with a time of 1:42.919, Tandy with a 1:43.051.

    All images courtesy of IMSA

  • Official Lap Records Fall at Daytona as Mazda take pole

    Oliver Jarvis topped the time sheets at the Roar Before the 24 earlier this month but officially broke the lap record previous set by PJ Jones way back in 1993. The Mazda Team Joest driver posted a time of 1:33.685, three tenths slower than the time he posted at the Roar but a couple of tenths faster than the record set by Jones.

    Ricky Taylor was the closest competition for Jarvis, Taylor posted a time of 1:33.873 in the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05. Juan Pablo Montoya put the #6 Acura into third with a time of 1:34.095. Previous winners Cadillac were a little off the pace, Felipe Nasr posting the fastest time for Cadillac with a time of 1:34.433 which was good enough for fifth place only. The #5 Action Express Cadillac failed to set a time in qualifying, suffering a loss of power on the out lap.

    James Allen went fastest in LMP2, the #81 DragonSpeed car setting a time of 1:35.904, half a second up on Gabriel Aubry in the #52 PR1 Oreca.

    Porsche took pole in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR, posting a new GTLM lap record, Nick Tandy posting a time of 1:42.257 after a brush with the wall. Tandy was half a second up on last years time and had Jan Magnussen just three tenths behind the #911 posting a time of 1:42.583. Ryan Briscoe took third in class in the #67 Ford GT posting a time of 1:42.634.

    Marcos Gomes put the #13 Via Italia Racing Ferrari 488GT3 on pole with a time of 1:45.27, setting a new GTD lap record, beating the time set in 2018 by Daniel Serra by eight tenths of a second. Ben Keating took second place in the #33 Mercedes AMG Team Riley Merecedes AMG-GT3 with a time of 1:45.324 whilst Trent Hindman rounded out the top three in the #86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

    Image courtesy of IMSA.

  • Oliver Jarvis breaks Daytona lap record

    Mazda lead the way in opening practice.

    British driver Oliver Jarvis led the way in the opening session at the 2019 Roar Before the Rolex 24, leading the 10 DPi cars that took part in the session. Jarvis posted a best lap of 1:35.989 in the #77 Mazda. His team mate Olivier Pla in the sister #77 car finished third on the time sheets with a time of 1:36.449. Jarvis went quicker than the lap record set by Renger van der Zande last year in the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac during qualifying in 2018.

    Cadillac held five of the top seven spots with Jordan Taylor leading the Cadillac entrants with a time of 1:36.407 in the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Fernando Alonso ran six laps in the first session, posting a time of 1:36.984, half a second slower than his team mate Jordan Taylor. Felipe Nasr was fourth in the #31 Whelen Engineering car with Filipe Albuquerque rounding out the top five in the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac with a time of 1:36.872. Ricky Taylor was the fastest of the two Penske Acura's with a time of 1:37.825 in the #7 car whilst the #54 CORE Autosport Nissan did not take part in the session.

    In the LMP2 ranks, only two cars made it out, neither DragonSpeed ORECA setting times in the opening session. The fastest of the two was the #51 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA thanks to a 1:39.828 by Gabriel Aubry. The sister #52 car was a little slower with a time of 1:40.694.

    Porsche finished 1-2 in GTLM with Patrick Pilet setting the fastest time in the #911 Porsche 911RSR, a time of 1:44.866 enough to put him at the top of the time sheets ahead of team mate Earl Bamber who posted a time of 1:45.028 in the #912 Porsche 911RSR.

    Jeroen Bleekemolen went fastest in GT Daytona, the #33 Wynn's Mercedes AMG GT3 setting a time of 1:47.188.

    All images courtesy of IMSA

  • Pla puts Mazda on top after first day of IMSA practice at Sebring

    Olivier Pla’s fastest lap in Free Practice Two ensured Mazda Team Joest ended the first day of the IMSA Sportscar Championship’s Sebring 12 Hours on top of the standings.

    Pla, who is also competing in the WEC’s 1000 Miles of Sebring in a Ford GT, used Thursday afternoon’s session to pull ahead of Felipe Nasr in the Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi and Dane Cameron, who set the fastest lap for the #6 Acura Team Penske crew. It wasn’t plain sailing for Mazda though, as the car stopped out on track during FP2 having ran out of fuel. However, it managed to complete the session having been recovered to the pitlane.

    Daytona 24 Hours winner Wayne Taylor Racing ended Thursday fourth as Renger van der Zande – another one of the 11 drivers double-heading the two races – finished three-hundredths of a second behind Cameron. Timo Bernhard waited until the final session to put the second Mazda into the top five, finishing 0.725s off Pla’s fastest time.

    Colin Braun added to the mix of marques at the top of the DPi category as he finished the day sixth-fastest overall in the CORE Autosport Nissan DPi – just a tenth ahead of Helio Castroneves’ fastest time in the second Penske Acura.

    In the two-car LMP2 class, the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Matthew McMurry, Gabriel Aubry and Anders Fjorback finished the day comfortably ahead of the Performance Tech machine, as it paced all three sessions in its Oreca 07.

    Corvette Racing gave the fans a reason to cheer as Antonio Garcia left it until the final 30 minutes of Free Practice Three to set the fastest time in GT Le Mans as he clocked a 1m56.970s in the #3 Corvette C7.R. Just 0.013s behind the Spaniard was the fastest of the Porsche GT Team crews as Laurens Vanthoor in the #912 edged out Nick Tandy in the sister #911 Porsche 911 RSR by 0.008s. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing finished fourth and fifth in the combined standings with the #67 of Richard Westbrook finished 0.111s ahead of Sebastien Bourdais’ best time in the #66.

    There was a mix of manufacturers at the top of the standings in GT Daytona as Bill Auberlen – in the Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 – edged out the Mario Farnbacher-driven Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX by two-tenths of a second. Third went to the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo with Mirko Bortolotti setting the best time of the day for that car, half-a-tenth ahead of Andy Lally in the Magnus Racing Lamborghini. Fifth and sixth in Thursday’s combined classification went to a pair of Porsches as Patrick Long put the Park Place Motorsports entry ahead of Scott Hargrove in the Pfaff Motorsports car. The only crash of note throughout the day of running came from the #47 Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, which had a disrupted day of running as the team missed the majority of FP2 following a crash for Don Yount. The American was caught out by a bump at the exit of turn three which pitched the car round and hit the barriers. Despite a herculean effort to repair the car, it wasn’t able to return to the track for FP3.