High Speeds During Daytona SportsCar Test

More than 60 IMSA teams will invade Daytona Int'l Speedway this weekend for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test session. (Ted Rossino Photo)
Action Express Racing's No. 5 was fastest during TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing at Daytona Int'l Speedway. (Ted Rossino Photo)
Action Express Racing’s No. 5 was fastest during TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing at Daytona Int’l Speedway. (Ted Rossino Photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Competitors unofficially bettered the track records for both Prototypes and GT cars at Daytona Int’l Speedway in the first of two days of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing.

Action Express Racing led the Prototype (P) class with a lap of 1:39.623 (128.645 mph) in the No. 5 Corvette DP, while SRT Motorsports led the GTLM class with a lap of 1:47.058 (119.711 mph) in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R.

Both morning and afternoon sessions had accidents in the final minutes. Richard Westbrook wrecked in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP entering turn one at the end of the morning session, while Joao Barbosa spun on the back straight in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP at the end of the day.

Both drivers were evaluated and released following visits to the infield care center, although the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP sustained major damage after getting off the ground and flipping and was taken to the team’s Daytona Beach shop following the incident. Charles Espenlaub was also unscathed after crashing the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS in the chicane on the backstretch midway through the afternoon session.

Barbosa’s lap in the morning session unofficially bettered Jorg Bergmeister’s existing DP record (1:40.553) from 2011, while the fastest GTLM lap of the day topped Nick Tandy’s GT mark in January’s qualifying for the Rolex 24 this past season, 1:47.631.

“That’s no surprise (that we’re under the record),” said Christian Fittipaldi, who joins Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP. “We knew it was going to be faster. At the end of the test I think it’s going to be between three to four seconds quicker than the track record.

“I wish it was only my car, but that’s not the case. Everyone is going to be a lot quicker. We have a good package, and we hope we can make it work better than the other teams.”

Performance Tech Motorsports led the PC test with a lap of 1:42.830 (124.633 mph) by the No. 38 ORECA FLM09/Chevrolet. Alex Job Racing was fastest in GTD at 1:49.069 (110.504 mph) with the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche GT America.