Fittipaldi leads opening day

January 4, 2014

Fittipaldi leads opening day

January 4, 2014

2014-01-03 at 12-17-15

Ex-F1 and IndyCar ace Christian Fittipaldi battled cold weather at Daytona International Speedway for Action Express Racing to top the timesheets for the “Roar before the 24” – the annual three-day test staged in advance of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Track and ambient temperatures struggles to top 50 degrees (F) throughout the day. Fittipaldi turned a lap of 1:38.630 on the 3.56-mile circuit in the No.5 Corvette DP co-driven by Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais.

“It was very interesting today to see different cars running together at different speeds, from four different classes,” said Fittipaldi, winner of the 2004 Rolex 24.

“All in all, it was a very good day. We managed to put into practice everything we learned since our last test here. The car felt very strong, but we still have a long way to go before the race.”

For 2014, the new prototype class will feature both Daytona Prototypes and Le Mans-style P2 cars. Extreme Speed Motorsports was the fastest P2 machine today with the No.1 car recording a lap of 1:40.006 to be fifth fastest overall.

“Yes, we’ve been working with IMSA and their direction of what they want us to be trying and I think between us and them, we’re getting the P2 cars closer (to the DP chassis),” ESM’s Ryan Dalziel said.

“It looks like all the P2 cars made a little bit of a step-up today. But there’s still some work to be done. Unfortunately, so much at Daytona is top speed and that’s not going to be the strength of a P2 car. We understand what the situation is and we’re just trying to get as close as we can. If we can make the cars race well, that’s what everybody wants to see.”

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