Racing News

The new BMW M8 GTE and M4 GT4 registered their first lap times at Daytona in the Roar Before The Rolex 24.

As the Roar is a test session, lap times are not always definitive. The teams are evaluating various setups and drivers, sorting their cars rather than trying to set the fastest possible times. But this year IMSA ran qualifying sessions for pit box and garage positions in the Rolex 24 for WeatherTech Series cars, so there was one session for each class in which fast laps were the primary focus.

The #25 Team RLL M8 GTE finished seventh and the #24 M8 finished eighth in the GTLM qualifying session. Alexander Sims set the fastest time across all sessions (including both practice and qualifying) in #25, while Augusto Farfus set the fastest time in #24. Fastest time in the class was set by Joey Hand in the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT. The Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 finished eighteenth in the GTD qualifying session. Jens Klingmann set the fastest time in the car across all sessions. Fastest time in the GTD class was set by Rolf Ineichen in a Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

The M4 GT4 made its debut in the Grand Sport class in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series test sessions. BimmerWorld ran an M4 GT4 with James Clay and Tyler Cooke driving, and Classic BMW/Vess Energy Group ran two M4 GT4s for Mike Vess, Jason Hart, and Toby Grahovec.

There were no qualifying sessions in CTSC. Across all practice sessions Hart in car #72 set the fastest M4 GT4 lap time; the car was nineteenth quickest in a class led by Spencer Pumpelly in a Porsche Cayman GT4.

The fastest car in the CTSC Street Tuner class was the #37 Mini JCW driven by Mat Pombo and Derek Jones. The #81 BimmerWorld 328i driven by Nick Galante and Devin Jones was second quickest.

All lap times from the Roar are posted on the IMSA website.

The first CTSC race of the season, the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona, will be run on Friday, January 26, while the first WeatherTech Series race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, will be run on Saturday and Sunday January 27 and 28.—Brian S. Morgan