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