In a No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing, Palou put in a stellar stint and throttled to a flying lap of 1m35.589s around Daytona International Speedway’s 3.56-mile road course. The reigning and two-time IndyCar Series champion secured the top time on the 40th of the entry’s 48 laps logged.
Felipe Nasr pushed the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 to a run that ended up second in overall and in the GTP class at 0.135 behind Palou’s time. Proton Competition’s No. 5 Porsche 963 was third after Alessio Picariello hit a mark that was 0.165s off the pace.
Renger van der Zande, Palou’s team-mate, demonstrated Cadillac’s speed early in the session after pulling off a quick lap of 1m35.670s in the opening minutes. That mark was untouched until Palou’s pace-setting time.
Novalak narrowly paces LMP2
The No. 52 Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07, which had a class best 46 laps logged during the session, led the way in LMP2 after Clement Novalak nailed down a flyer at 1m39.416s.
Prior to the GTP machines getting released for the session, DragonSpeed’s James Allen throttled to a lap of 1m39.497s in the No. 81 ORECA, which ended up second among the LMP2 machines by 0.081s in the end.
Malthe Jakobsen had the No. 04 entry for Crowdstrike Racing by APR third in the category, sporting run that was 0.402s off the pace set by Novalak.
Bachler leads the GTD field
Klaus Bachler was fastest in GTD after drawing a lap of 1m47.045 in the No. 86 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) for MDK Motorsports.
The entry logged a stout 41 laps, which tied the No. 78 Forte Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 for most in class for the session. Proton Competition’s No. 55 Ford Mustang GT3 of Dennis Olsen was second, 0.040s off the mark set by Bachler.
Conquest Racing’s Ferrari 296 GT3 ended up third at only 0.061s behind the top time courtesy of Albert Costa Balboa.
The fastest GTD Pro entry was the No. 9 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO for Pfaff Motorsports, which had a brief moment early on being stopped on course in Turn 4, hit a best lap of 1m47.144s with Alexander Rossi behind the wheel.
The No. 3 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Corvette Z06 GT3.R failed to make a lap during the session.