By Tarek Ramchani
Action has started at Daytona International Speedway for the 53rd annual Rolex 24. Two Audi R8 LMS cars took part in three practice sessions and the qualifying one with some good performances.
The two cars came from two different teams, Flying Lizard Motorsport and Paul Miller Racing competing in the GT Daytona class (GTD). Both Audi Sport customer racing squads performed well in all three practice sessions. The two teams did same in the official qualifying session against strong rivals representing various brands.
The best ranked Audi entry was the #45 R8 LMS from Flying Lizard Motorsport. The car in the hands of Markus Winkelhock, Tomonobu Fujii, Satoshi Hoshino and Robert Thorne ended in a positive sixth place. 1:47.813 was the best time set by the California based team in the session.
The Paul Miller Racing entry ended in twelvth place within the GT Daytona class. The #48 Audi R8 LMS driven by Dion von Moltke, Christopher Haase, René Rast and Bryce Miller narrowly missed the Top 10. Their best time was 1:48.202, less than a second behind the pole winning-time.
GT Daytona pole position went to the #007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 from TRG-AMR. Second place went to the #33 Dodge Viper GT3-R from Riley Motorsports. Third place went to the #28 Porsche 911 GT America from Konrad Motorsport.
The two Audi teams will be back on track on Friday for a fourth a final practice session.
Rolex 24 qualifying session results are here.
The 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona is the opening round of both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the special North American Endurance Cup. The prestigious Florida twice around the clock classic will start on Saturday afternoon.