Long-time Street Tuner (ST) contenders Compass360 Racing debuted its No. 76 Ford Shelby GT350R-C at the session. Pierre Kleinubing was fourth-fastest on the day in the new car he co-drives with Paul Holton, running a best lap of 1:58.839 (107.843 miles per hour/172.549 kilometers per hour).
“I like it a lot,” Kleinubing said. “We’re learning much from the other Mustang guys, and that’s the biggest reason we’re here – what we learn in this test will make our season that much better. The car is very well sorted, and I’m happy where we’re sitting right now. We’ve got room for improvement – this car has a lot of potential.”
Ethan Low was fastest in ST, posting a best time of 2:05.850 (101.836 mph/162.938 kph) in the No. 11 DeMan Motorsport Porsche Cayman.
Wilson Takes First Laps At Daytona
“Now that I have my IMSA [International Motor Sports Association] license, I’m officially a two-sport athlete,” said Major League Baseball star C.J. Wilson, who took his first laps in a professional race car the other Saturday. Wilson was at the wheel of his new CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport that will compete in the Grand Sport [GS] class. While Wilson is not expected to compete in the 2016 season because of his commitments pitching with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he is planning to drive for his racing team in the future.
“Driving at Daytona is really cool, and the banking is really intense,” said Wilson, who turned laps in the afternoon session. His co-drivers are Marc Miller and Danny Burkett. “It’s not something you can simulate at any other track.”
Muehlner happy with Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Muehlner Motorsports America – based just a few miles away from Daytona International Speedway in DeLand, Florida – made its Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge debut at the Roar and posted consistent, top-three times with the No. 21 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Kyle Marcelli drove the car at the Roar, running fourth-fastest with a best lap of 1:57.966 (108.641 mph/170.626 kph).
“We have three of the new Clubsports,” team owner Bernhard Muehlner said. “One is at our shop in DeLand, and the other two are in Europe [at the team’s global base in Belgium]. We can have one or both of them shipped over here very quickly if needed.”
“We haven’t finalized our lineup for Daytona or the season, but Kyle is our first choice,” he added.
Another driver testing with a new team was Trent Hindman, the 2014 GS champion, who took laps in the No. 34 Alara Motorsports Mazda MX-5 along with regular driver Christian Szymczak.
“Today was the first time I drove an MX-5, and it requires a different style from anything I’ve encountered,” Hindman said. “It’s a blast to drive, through.”
Rolex 24 weekend practice begins on January 27, with sessions for the Continental Tire Challenge and Ferrari Challenge. Opening WeatherTech Championship practice and qualifying is January 28. The BMW Performance 200 takes the green flag on January 29, while the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona rolls off on January 30.