Friday, January 24, 2014

TUSC: Strong fourth and final practice session at Daytona - and pole position reinstated

By Johan Laubscher

The 24 Hours of Daytona week is well and truly underway. Three practice sessions and qualifying took place yesterday and a fourth and final practice session took place today.

The big news yesterday was the pole position and subsequent disqualification of Paul Miller Racing's #48 Audi R8 LMS. Christopher Haase's GTD pole time was penalised following a technical infringement with the car's rear wing end plates. Since then the IMSA supervisory officials have reviewed the case. It was announced on Friday that Paul Miller Racing's pole position was reinstated and the penalty rescinded.

The fourth and final practice session was held on Friday morning.

Two Audi R8 LMS cars made it into the GTD class top ten. The #46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS of Charles Espenlaub, Oliver Jarvis, Charlie Putman and James Walker placed sixth fastest in GTD. They were followed by the #35 Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS of Filipe Albuquerque, Seth Neimann, Alessandro Latif and Dion von Moltke in tenth.

Marc Basseng, Frank Stippler, James Sofronas and Alex Welch in the #32 GMG Racing R8 LMS were nineteenth fastest. The newly reinstated GTD pole sitters, Matthew Bell, Christopher Haase, Bryce Miller and René Rast in the #48 Paul Miller Racing R8 LMS, were twenty-fourth fastest. The #45 Audi R8 LMS from Flying Lizard Motorsports rounded out the Audi runners in twenty-sixth, driven by Nelson Canache Jr, Tim Pappas, Spencer Pumpelly and Markus Winkelhock.

The fourth practice session results can be seen HERE.

With four practice sessions and qualifying behind the teams, it is now full steam ahead towards the green flag at 14:10 local time tomorrow afternoon. It will be the beginning of a new era in North America, as it is round one of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

We wish the best of luck to all of the Audi teams and hoping for a repeat of the terrific 2013 GT victory at the Daytona 24.

Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport