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Pla tops times in opening Daytona 24 Hour test

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 9th January, 2016 - 10:35am

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Michael Shank Racing set the pace in Daytona

Michael Shank Racing set the pace in Daytona

Michael Shank Racing topped the times in the opening day of testing for the Daytona 24 Hours.

The Honda HPD Ligier prototype, shared by Olivier Pla/Ozz Negri/John Pew/AJ Allmendinger, topped both sessions at the famous American circuit with Frenchman Pla posting a benchmark 1:39.455s effort in the final two hour hit-out.

Extreme Speed Motorsport’s Honda Ligier was second fastest after Brazilian Pipo Derani posted a time 0.8s adrift of Pla, while the DeltaWing driven by Sean Rayhall was third fastest.

Wayne Taylor Racing emerged as the top Daytona Prototype ahead to the Action Express Corvette of reigning United Sportscar Championship winners Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi.

Defending race winners Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray were seventh overall in the Chip Ganassi Ford prototype.

The sister entry of Kiwi Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx, Alex Wurz and Lance Stroll missed the second session after Stroll suffered a crash at Turn 5.

In GTLM, the new BMW M6 led the way with the Team RLL entries occupying first and second spot.

Lucas Luhr in the #100 posted the fastest time of the day with a 1:45.088s set in the morning session.

The factory Corvettes were third and fourth while the brand new Ford GT was fifth on its competitive debut. The #67 car shared by Australian Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Stefan Mucke set a 1:45.426s.

The new Ferrari 488 was sixth in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni, while Earl Bamber’s factory Porsche 911 RSR was ninth.

GTD honours belonged to the Spirit of Race Ferrari 458 GT3 with New Zealanders Shane van Gisbergen and Richie Stanaway were 14th and 15th in their respective Porsche and Aston Martin entries.

Preparations for the Daytona 24 Hours on January 30-31 conclude on Sunday.

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