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Qualifying at Daytona – Diary 25 January 2018

Daytona start/finish line and main grandstand
This is the start/finish line and main grandstand

Thursday’s qualifying at Daytona was a tense affair, with the top spot being snatched in the prototype and GTLM classes by the smallest of margins, in the closing stages of the session. Martin has sent a batch of interesting shots and we have combined elements of the official Porsche press release to give the report a much-needed Stuttgart flavour.

2018 Daytona 24 Hours
The IMSA BoP boys hit it out of the park. Renger van Der Zande took pole on the very last lap in Wayne Taylor’s Cadillac (left) over Helio Castro Neves in Roger Penske’s Honda Acura by 0.007 seconds. Fernando Alonso was less than 1 second back and was 13th!

#912 Porsche RSR GTLM
The Porsche GTLM cars were third and fourth, the #912 of Vanthoor just ahead of the #911 of Pilet. The Corvette of Jan Magnussen took GTLM pole

#51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488
The Spirit of Race team 488 took pole in GTD, driven by Daniel Serra. The similar Risi car was second, but GTD Porsches did not fare too well running 9th, 12th and 49th (Park Place Motorsports did not run)

ANDIAL Moby Dick Porsche 935
An old friend showed up in the Daytona vintage display. This is the ANDIAL Moby Dick 935, the 1983 winner. In the background is the Kremer Spyder that was the 1995 race winner

Click here for the full development and race history of this iconic car (above), the ANDIAL Moby Dick 935.

Daytona Class of '18
The full grid lines up for the Class of ’18 photo – (from L-R) GTD, GTLM and Prototype. Courtesy of IMSA

Both 911 RSRs lock out second grid row

The two Porsche 911 RSR works cars have both secured good starting positions for the Daytona 24-hour race as they will start the race from the second row of the grid.

#912 Porsche 911 RSR
#912 Porsche 911 RSR of Bamber/Vanthoor/Bruni

In the qualifying session, Laurens Vanthoor in the #912 car clocked the third quickest time in the GTLM class, a mere 14-hundredths of a second off the pole-setting time. Patrick Pilet posted the fourth quickest time in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR. The first qualifying of the season highlights just how fierce the competition is in the 2018 GTLM class, with the top eight cars qualifying within eight-tenths of a second.

#911 Porsche 911 RSR
#911 Porsche 911 RSR of Pilet/Tandy/Makowiecki

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