Russian IndyCar driver Mikhail Aleshin overcame extremely wet conditions to capture the Prototype class pole for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona. Aleshin ran a lap of 2:05.793 (101.882 mph) in the Nissan-powered #37 BR01 fielded by Russian-based SMP Racing. The Prototype debuted in 2015 ELMS competition and is racing in North America for the first time.
”I think the conditions were surprising for everyone,” Aleshin said. “During qualifying I was never sure while braking for any turn if I was going to be on the optimal line and not hitting the wall – but this is racing. You have to take risks sometimes. But at the same time, you’ve got to save the car and keep it in one piece. The race is the most important thing.” [For full story click here.]
Nick Tandy captured the GT Le Mans pole. Driving the #911 Porsche North America with teammate and last year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM champion, Patrick Pilet, Tandy – a two-time GTLM pole winner in 2015 and the reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans overall champion – posted a best time of 2:01.408 (105.561 mph).
Frédéric Makowiecki qualified second in GTLM with a time of 2:02.364 (104.737 mph) in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR, making an all-Porsche front row for Saturday’s starting lineup. The qualifying session was interrupted by a red flag for an incident involving Gianmaria Bruni in the #72 SMP Ferrari 488 GTE and was extended by a few minutes to satisfy the minimum guaranteed green-flag time requirement of 10 min. [For full story click here.]