Daytona testing report 98-01-10

ROLEX 24 SHAPING UP TO BE FASTEST EVER DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 10, 1998) -- The 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona could be the fastest-ever, if Saturday's test times are any indication. After flirting with the qualifying record set...

ROLEX 24 SHAPING UP TO BE FASTEST EVER

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 10, 1998) -- The 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona could be the fastest-ever, if Saturday's test times are any indication. After flirting with the qualifying record set in 1997, Frenchman Yannick Dalmas, driving the No. 3 Royal Purple Ferrari 333 SP Can-Am entry, unofficially eclipsed the overall track record Saturday, with an average speed of 127.670 mph (1:40.384) on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course/oval. The official mark of 127.587 mph (1:40.456) was set by Fermin Velez. The No. 17 Toshiba Copiers/Fax Ferrari 333 SP driven by 1996 Rolex 24 Champion Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele and Velez was second-quick, with a speed of 127.418 mph (1:40.582). The story was similar in the GT1 class, but by a much greater margin, as Andy Wallace, of Le Mans, England, wheeled the No. 99 Vistion-Elan Panoz GTR to an unofficial lap of 122.512 mph (1:44.610), over four mph faster than Olivier Baretta's mark of 118.154 mph (1:48.468) set in a Dodge Viper last year. Wallace's team-car, the No. 5 Vistion-Elan Panoz GTR driven by Scott Pruett, Raul Boesel, Doc Bundy and Paul Newman, was second-quick in GT1, with a speed of 121.353 mph (1:45.609). Fastest in the GT2 class was the No. 99 Porsche 911 GT2 of Franz Konrad, Larry Schumacher and Nick Ham with a lap of 112.704 mph (1:53.714). In GT3, the No. 54 BMW M3 of Scott Neuman, Terry Borcheller, Bill Adam and Larry Pilgrim was quickest, with a speed of 109.953 mph (1:56.559). Neither the GT2, nor the GT3 records were eclipsed. The Rolex 24 At Daytona Test Days is the official kick off of the 36th Rolex 24 At Daytona, scheduled to begin Saturday, January 31 at 1:00 p.m. Known as the "most prestigious sports car race in the world," the 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona will be the debut of the United States Road Racing Championship.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Top-three unofficial times for Can-Am, GT1, GT2 and GT3 from Saturday's Rolex 24 At Daytona Test Days with position, car number in parenthesis, drivers, car, fastest time and speed in miles-per-hour.

Can-Am: 1, (3), Max Papis, Yannick Dalmas, Bob Wolleck, Ron Fellows, Ferrari 333 SP, 1:40.384, 127.670. 2, (17), Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele, Fermin Velez, Ferrari 333 SP, 1:40.582, 127.418. 3, (43), Max Papis, Yannick Dalmas, Bob Wolleck, Ron Fellows, Ferrari 333 SP, 1:41.823, 125.865.

GT1: 1, (99), David Brabham, Eric Bernard, Jamie Davis, Andy Wallace, Paul Newman, Panoz GTR, 1:44.610, 122.512. 2, (5), Scott Pruett, Raul Boesel, Paul Newman, Doc Bundy, Panoz GTR, 1:45.609, 121.353. 3, (01), Allan McNish, Danny Sullivan, Vincenso Sospiri, Dirk Muller, Porsche 911 GT1, 1:46.858, 119.935.

GT2: 1, (98), Franz Konrad, Larry Schumacher, Nick Ham, Porsche 911 GT2, 1:53.714, 112.704. 2, (05), Katsunori Iketani, Masamitsu Ishihara, Harry Bytzek, Porsche 911 GT2, 1:57.399, 109.166. 3, (50), Thomas McGlynn, James Oppenheimer, George Balbach, Robert Johnson, Erik Johnson, Porsche 911, 2:08.991, 99.356.

GT3: 1, (54), Scott Neuman, Terry Borcheller, Bill Adam, Andy Pilgrim, BMW M3, 1:56.559, 109.953. 2, (6), Boris Said, Mark Simo, Bill Auberlen, BMW M3, 1:56.702, 109.818. 3, (7), Tom Popadopolis, Peter Cunningham, R.J. Valentine, BMW M3, 1:57.776, 108.817.

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Series Can-Am , GT
Drivers Andy Wallace , David Brabham , Dirk Müller , Franz Konrad , Allan McNish , Boris Said , Yannick Dalmas , Raul Boesel , Max Papis , Ron Fellows , Scott Pruett , Andy Pilgrim , Wayne Taylor , Eric van de Poele , Bill Auberlen , Danny Sullivan , Terry Borcheller , Paul Newman , Peter Cunningham , James Oppenheimer , R.J. Valentine , Fermin Velez , Nick Ham , Doc Bundy , Katsunori Iketani , George Balbach , Bill Adam