DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Napleton Racing and No. 16 Porsche Cayman S drivers David Donohue, Shane Lewis, Dr. Jim Norman and Nelson Canache continued to set the pace Saturday in the new GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GX class at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona test.
The Rolex 24 debuting team turned the top GX lap on Friday’s first day of testing and improved to a weekend class-best lap time of 1:56.167 (110.324 mph) in Saturday morning’s opening test session. The lap was over a second faster than the No. 16’s Friday GX-best time of 1:57.466 (109.104 mph).
Lewis was the first driver named to the Napleton team late last year and on Friday it was announced he would be joined in the No. 16 by 2009 overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Donohue and past teammates Canache and Norman.
“I’m so happy with the car and driver lineup that we have,” said Canache, a native of Venezuela. “We have a good team and the first time in the car I could get familiar with the car quickly, get good laps and be really close to my teammates.
I think the fact that we have a really good lineup will make us even stronger for the race. We are the slower class of the field, so we have to be careful and know how to manage the car with all of the Daytona Prototypes and GTs coming by.”
Norman and Canache first drove together in last year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona in a GT-class APR Motorsport Audi R8.
“The day has gone really well,” Norman said. “We’ve been in the car three times today. Every time we’ve gone out with a different setup we’ve had a little bit of development issues with the brake, but we feel like we’ve got that ironed out now.
The brakes look good. We’ve changed some suspension components to make it handle a little bit better and every time out we get a little bit better. It’s great being on a team with Shane and David.
There’s a lot of wisdom there and a lot of experience to help make the car better.”
The team updated to GX specifications its Cayman S that was victorious in its first weekend of Pirelli World Challenge competition at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this past August.
The Napleton Cayman S won Sunday’s final race of the Mid-Ohio weekend’s doubleheader after earning a third-place finish one day earlier in the debut race for both the car and driver Kevin Gleason.
In addition to the Mid-Ohio Pirelli World Challenge success, Napleton Racing also built and at the time maintained the No. 68 Team Hot Wheels™ Cayman S that Jack Baldwin drove to the Pirelli World Challenge GTS victory in April at Long Beach.
The Napleton/ Hot Wheels® combination also produced several other podium finishes and Baldwin and the No. 68 went on to finish third in this year’s GTS season championship.
Napleton Porsche of Westmont also owns and operates the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship that completed its third full season of competition last month at Daytona.
Saturday’s schedule at the Rolex Roar concluded with night practice. Sunday's final day of testing begins at 10:15 a.m.