IMSA Night Test at Daytona 24h Roar: Palou’s Ganassi Cadillac Sets the Pace

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Daytona 24h Roar: Palou’s Ganassi Cadillac fastest in IMSA night test

Palou posted an impressive time of 1m35.705s on the 3.56-mile road course, maneuvering Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadillac V-Series R GTP under challenging cold track conditions and floodlights during a two-hour session.

Initially, Renger van der Zande led the pack with a time of 1m35.895s in the #01 CGR Caddy, surpassing Filipe Albuquerque’s #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06 by a tenth just 15 minutes into the session.

Kevin Estre faced a setback as the Penske-run Porsche lost a wheel but managed to recover and secure the second position with a time of 1m35.984s, trailing van der Zande by only 0.089s.

In the second hour, Connor De Phillippi’s #25 RLL-run BMW M Hybrid V8 briefly claimed second place before Palou, the Ganassi IndyCar ace, clocked in a faster lap at 1m35.705s, securing the top spot over a quarter of a second ahead of the competition.

IMSA Night Test at Daytona 24h Roar: Palou's Ganassi Cadillac Sets the Pace
IMSA Night Test at Daytona 24h Roar: Palou’s Ganassi Cadillac Sets the Pace (Credits: Autosport)

Expressing his delight, Palou shared, “I just love driving at night with the traffic in this amazing car. We finished up on top with the night session today, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

Jack Aitken secured fifth place in Action Express Racing’s Cadillac, followed by Josef Newgarden’s #7 Penske Porsche, Jesse Krohn’s #24 BMW, Colton Herta’s #40 WTR Acura, Gianmaria Bruni’s Proton Porsche, and Tijmen van der Helm’s JDC-Miller Porsche, completing the GTP runners.

In the LMP2 class, Mikkel Jensen initially led with a time of 1m38.995s in the #11 TDS-run ORECA, but Clement Novalak later took the lead in the #52 Inter Europol/PR1 Mathiasen variant with 1m38.961s.

Felix Rosenqvist, in the #22 United Autosports ORECA, challenged the leaders with a time of 1m38.897s, but Matthieu Vaxiviere from Richard Mille-entered AF Corse ORECA ultimately claimed the top spot.

The GTD class was dominated by the Ferrari team, with Eddie Cheever III setting the pace in Cetilar’s pro-am Ferrari 296 at 1m45.739s. Marvin Kirchhofer, in the Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S, initially led the GTD category, followed closely by Dirk Muller’s Multimatic Ford Mustang.

While Michelle Gatting led the pro-am GTD category with her Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan initially, Kirchhofer maintained his lead in the Pro category, with Muller in close pursuit. Jan Heylen secured the fourth spot in his #120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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