vendredi 20 janvier 2017



Laurens Vanthoor will be competing for the first time with Porsche and in North American sportscar racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The former Audi factor driver, 2016 FIA GT World Cup winner and multiple Blancpain GT Series champion will debut in GTE racing too.

The Belgian GT ace will be racing for Porsche GT Team and will be at the wheel of the brand new Porsche 911 RSR in the highly competitve GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. He will be sharing the car with fellow Porsche works drivers Kevin Estre, his full season team-mate, and Richard Lietz.


Laurens Vanthoor is aiming high in the Florida classic and opening round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

"To contest my first race as a Porsche factory driver in Daytona is something very special for me. It’s a dream come true", said Laurens Vanthoor.

"I really wanted to compete in the USA and have Kévin alongside me as a teammate – and in fact all my wishes were granted".

He added: "Now it’s up to me to justify that confidence at my first Daytona race by performing well"

Photos: Porsche

Laurens Vanthoor looks forward to a strong Rolex 24 with Porsche

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lundi 9 janvier 2017


The factory Ford GTs from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing  were the quickest in the three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the official IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pre-season test.

Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon set the best time in a highly competitive GT Le Mans (GTLM) class with their #67 Ford GT, 1:44.089.

Andy Priaulx, Tony Kanaan and Harry Tincknell were second fastest at the wheel of the sister #69 Ford GT, just 0.265 behind their team-mates' best time.


BMW Team RLL's John Edwards, Martin Tomczyk and Nicky Catsburg completed the top-three in GTLM sharing the #24 BMW M6 GTLM.

The lone Ferrari 488 GTE in the field was fourth fastest, the Risi Competizione-run car was driven by Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler were fifth with the #4 Corvette C7.R. The car caught fire on Sunday with Marcel Fassler behind the wheel, the Swiss driver was unharmed. According to Corvette Racing, the car will be ready for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.


The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66 Ford GT was sixth. The Corvette Racing #3 Corvette C7.R was seventh. The BMW Team RLL #19 BMW M6 GTLM was eighth. The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #68 Ford GT was ninth. Porsche GT Team pair of 911 RSRs were tenth with the #911 car and eleventh with the sister #912 machine.

Roar Before the Rolex 24 Combined Results

Photos: Michelin

Ford dominated the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona

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dimanche 8 janvier 2017


The DH Racing team dominated today's 4 Hours of Buriram, round three of the 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series. A 1-2 victory in the GT class with their Ferrari 488 GT3s.

A strong result in Thailand enough to give DH Racing the Asian Le Mans Series GT championship title and an invitation for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

The winning #5 Ferrari 488 GT3 car was shared by Stéphane Lemeret, Michele Rugolo and Mattieu Vaxiviere. They covered a total of 147 laps.

The three drivers had a thrilling battle for the class win with the sister #3 Ferrari driven by Rino Mastronardi Alex Riberas and Olivier Beretta. The gap was 0.279s at the finish line.

Another Ferrari completed the top-three in GT. The #37 Ferrari 488 GT3 from Team BTT in the hands of Anthony Liu, Davide Rizzo, Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Team AAI pair of BMW M6 GT3 were best of the rest, they were fourth and fifth in class.

4 Hours of Buriram Results

Photo: Asian Le Mans Series

DH Racing wins Asian Le Mans Series GT title and an invitalion for Le Mans 24 Hours

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The setup of the new Porsche 911 RSR for the 24 Hours of Daytona was again the main priority for the FACTORY team Porsche GT Team on day two of “The Roar before the Rolex 24”. The long distance classic on the Daytona International Speedway on 28/29 January marks the start of the 2017 IMSA SportsCar Championship, the most important sports car championship in North America. Five Porsche customer teams also used the official test at the Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the upcoming season. They will tackle the GTD class with the Porsche 911 GT3 R, which was designed for worldwide GT3 series on the basis of the 911 GT3 RS production sports car.

After a severe thunderstorm during the night, the racetrack was still wet on Saturday when the teams took up the first practice session under cloudy skies. The weather did not improve. In fact, strong winds accompanied the occasional showers and the spring temperatures from the previous day plummeted to ten degrees Celsius. Only over the course of the second session of the day did the rain stop and the track dry up. However, the Porsche GT Team made the most of the changeable weather conditions. The new Porsche 911 RSR, which celebrates its race debut at the Daytona 24 Hours, has conducted very few tests on a wet track. In this respect, day two of “The Roar before the Rolex 24” may not have been particularly fun for the fans, but for the Porsche engineers the three Saturday sessions yielded new and IMPORTANTinsights.

Sharing driving duties in the 911 RSR with the starting number 911 were again the Frenchmen Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki with the new Porsche works driver Dirk Werner (Germany). The second 911 RSR (#912) was manned by Kévin Estre (France), Porsche newcomer Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Richard Lietz (Austria). These pairings represent the driver lineups for both the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the second long distance classic of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the 12 Hours of Sebring contested on 18 March. Their works driver colleagues Wolf Henzler (Germany/TRG), Jörg Bergmeister (Germany/Park Place Motorsports), Patrick Long (USA/Core Autosport), Michael Christensen (Denmark/Alegra Motorsports) and Sven Müller (Germany/Manthey Racing) will complete the official Daytona test in the 911 GT3 R of Porsche customer teams, for whom they will also contest the 24-hour race.

Porsche Press Release

Porsche GT Team continues test programme with the new 911 RSR at Daytona

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samedi 7 janvier 2017


Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has dominated GTLM in Daytona's Roar Before the Rolex 24 second session. The factory Ford GTs were the fastest in the 11-car field with all four cars within the top-five in class.

2016 Le Mans 24 Hours GTE-Pro winners Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand and Sébastien Bourdais set the best time in class 1:44.773, they were at the wheel of the #66 Ford GT.

Their team-mates Andy Priaulx, Tony Kanaan and Harry Tincknell were second quickest with the sister #69 Ford GT.

Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler completed the top-three in GTLM driving the works #4 Corvette C7.R.

The #67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Soctt Dixon was fourth ahead of the #68 Ford GT of Oliver Pla, Stefan Muecke and Billy Johnson.

Porsche GT Team improved in the second session of the day as Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner and Frédéric Makowiecki were sixth with the #911 Porsche 911 RSR.

Best of the BMWs was seventh, the #19 M6 GTLM in the hands of Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler.

The Corvette Racing #3 Corvette C7.R was eighth. The Porsche GT Team #912 Porsche 911 RSR was ninth. The BMW Team RLL #24 BMW M6 GTLM was tenth. The Risi Competizione #62 Ferrari 488 GTE was eleventh.

Daytona Second Session Results

Roar Before the Rolex 24 action will resume on Saturday at Daytona.

Photo: Michelin Media

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing dominated Friday's second session

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Clearwater Racing is set to compete in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship with the Ferrari brand.

The 2015/2016 Asian Le Mans Series GT champions will field a single Ferrari 488 GTE within the GTE-Am class with support from AF Corse.

The Singapore-based's Ferrari will be driven by Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin. All three drivers are competing with the team in the 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series with a Ferrari 488 GT3.

In 2016 Clearwater Racing competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Ferrari 458 Italia taking the GTE-Am pole position.

Mok Weng Sung, Clearwater Racing Team Principal:

We’ve been thinking about this for a while, but it’s a big commitment, financially as well as time wise. I’ve been waving back and forth on the idea, and then this weekend I just had a good chat with the team and said ‘Let’s go do it’. 

I was actually planning on retiring from racing after this season in the Asian Le Mans Series; I’ve been doing it for 11 years and I’ll be turning 50 next year, so I thought I’d wind it back. 

But the lure of being able to race in the premier GT championship in the World was just too much of a lure, and of course I want to go back to Le Mans, and so to have a guaranteed entry as well as the ability to race on the greatest circuits on the planet with top rated teams, I just said – Let’s go do it.

Photo; Ferrari

Clearwater Racing to compete in FIA WEC with Ferrari

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vendredi 6 janvier 2017


Corvette Racing was the fastest in the ultra competitive GT Le Mans class in the opening test session at Daytona International Speedway. The famous Florida circuit is playing host to a three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 tests.

At the wheel of the #3 Corvette C7.R, Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller set the best time in GTLM with 1:44.760.

The #67 Ford GT driven by Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon was second fastest in class with 1:45.047.

Their Ford Chip Ganassi team-mates Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand and Sébastien Bourdais completed the top-three in GTLM sharing the #66 Ford GT.

The #4 Corvette C7.R was fourth. The #68 Ford GT was fifth ahead of the sister #69 machine. The two BMW Team RLL M6 GTLMs were seventh with the #24 car and eighth with the #19 BMW. The Porsche GT Team #911 Porsche 911 RSR was ninth. The Risi Competizione #62 Ferrari 488 GTE was tenth. The Porsche GT Team #912 Porsche 911 RSR was eleventh.

Daytona First Session Results

The second session is coming-up next.

Photo: Chevrolet

Corvette Racing topped GTLM in Roar Before the 24 opening session

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Risi Competizione kicks off the New Year at the Roar Before the 24, the pre-race test event for all Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona entrants, on January 6-8, 2017. The pairing of drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander return for the Rolex 24 and are joined by James Calado in the Ferrari 488 GTLM for the season's inaugural Daytona race. Off the back of an impressive win at last year's final event, Petit Le Mans, the three return to the team determined to collect the one global sports car victory that has eluded the Risi Competizione team.

Last year the team received delivery of its brand new Ferrari 488 just days prior to the 54th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and managed a sixth-place finish in the highly competitive GTLM class. This year the team start the year with a full season of successful racing behind them with the Ferrari 488 including a win, three podiums and seven top-five finishes.

Having run at IMSA's manufacturer's two-day test in December, the Risi team will be using the upcoming Roar Before the 24 to perfect their set up for the best performance and make sure they are well-prepared ahead of the twice-around-the-clock enduro at the end of the month.


Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:

What are your goals for the ROAR Before the 24?

There is limited track time at the race event later this month. You never know what the weather will do for race week. We have the time to get Giancarlo and James comfortable with the car and back in 'race mode' after the break between Petit and the ROAR. Toni just completed the mandatory manufacturer's two-day test in December, so we don't need to run too many laps in the 14 hours of available track time. We'll try and put 'polish' on race related items; drivers' changes, radio communication, pit work, etc.

How does the competition look to stack up in the GTLM class this year in IMSA? 

Every car/manufacture will be fast and capable of winning the race.No team/car/manufacturer is trying to go fast from a fear of a balance of performance change against them. We really won't know the competitions true pace until a few hours into the race. We'll have to wait and see how the balance of performance is set for the race.

What's new for 2017?

"No changes to the proven seasoned Risi Competizione crew. No changes to the F488 GTLM car or car systems for Daytona. This is the same spec car we raced at Petit. There are no endurance concerns for any component. All the GTLM cars are running this year on the same spec of Michelin tires we finishing the year with, or what they chose at the Michelin test in October. This is a different spec of tire than we raced at Daytona with last year but the same spec tires we all tested on in last month's December test.

You'll have Toni, Giancarlo and James back together again for the Rolex 24. Their last race together was the victory at Petit. How strong do you think the pairing of the three drivers is for a difficult race like the Rolex 24?

It has to be one of the best, if not the best, driver pairings in the field. They all know how to win long endurance races. They get along well on and off track; such a key component. They are all quick, focused, know the car and Daytona and work well in the Risi environment. You can't ask for more than that.


Giancarlo Fisichella, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:

Welcome back to Risi Competizione as you prepare for the Rolex 24 this week. What have you been doing since your victory at the season finale at Petit?

After Petit, the last IMSA race of season, I raced at Vallelunga for the 6 Hours and we won. I also went to the last couple of F1 championship races. Since November until now I was a bit free. I did some training and went on holiday for the new year and Christmas to Zanzibar with my family, which was nice. I continue to do training, as usual, to keep fit. The season is starting soon with the Rolex 24 at Daytona the end of January. I'm looking forward to it and with Toni and James. I'm really looking forward to the same Risi Team. We had such a fantastic end of season last year so I would like to start again with another great result. We have a good crew and car and drivers so I'm very happy for this.

What are your goals for the Roar Test at Daytona this week?

The goal is obviously to run a lot. We want to get lots of data, try to find the best set up for the race weekend, try some different materials, springs, develop the right downforce for the race, turn lots of laps, see the tire behavior, etc. for consistency, and generally prepare well for the race.

How well do you think you work with Toni and James and what are you hoping to achieve for the Rolex 24?

It's been great with Toni all season together last year. Toni's a nice guy, a really professional driver. We developed a good friendship and he speaks good Italian. We did one race together with James together last year and we won -- at Petit Le Mans. He's really great driver. He had a fantastic race with us, with not one mistake. I'm looking forward to having him with us again for the Rolex 24 and maybe more.

How does the competition look to stack up in the GTLM class this year in IMSA?

It will be very tough. Corvette is very strong, and Ford as well, and BMW. There is a new Porsche for 2017 and it will be good to see how it does. All the best manufacturers are in this category, so we will be fighting. It will be quite tough!


Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:

Welcome back to Risi Competizione as you prepare for the Rolex 24 this week. What have you been doing since your victory at the season finale at Petit?

Not much. I have been relaxing with my family and training. We had the Ferrari World finals in Daytona and we did the IMSA test. It was good to have a little break. I'm ready to go now.

What are your goals for the Roar Test at Daytona this week?

Just to be in the car again. We will do the test schedule planned by Rick and we go from there.

How well do you think you work with Giancarlo and James and what are you hoping to achieve for the Rolex 24?

We have a very good driver line up. I would love to win this race and if we get a trouble-free run, everything is possible.

How does the competition look to stack up in the GTLM class this year in IMSA?

GTLM is very tight and tough. There are strong race cars with best crews in the world. It will be difficult!


James Calado, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:

Welcome back to Risi Competizione. What were your thoughts when you were asked to join the Risi Competizione team again for the Rolex 24?

Well firstly I would like to thank Risi Competizione and Ferrari for giving me the opportunity to come back and race for the second time. It's great to know the team have confidence in me after our great result in Road Atlanta. I am really looking forward to working with everyone again and of course we will be fighting for another win.

I believe last year was your first Rolex 24. What did you learn from then that you will take with you into the Test this weekend and into the race the end of the month?

Last year's Rolex 24 was certainly an experience. Unfortunately, we retired with mechanical problems. It's an extremely long race and very demanding on the car. I learned that we need to preserve the car, the race really opens up towards the end and obviously we need the car in good condition to be able compete for a good result. I think the key is to stay out of trouble, maintain concentration and stay out of trouble.

How well do you think you work with Giancarlo and Toni?

Both drivers have huge amounts of talent. Both on and off the track. We worked well together in Atlanta and they really helped me get up to speed. I will take their advice and experience on board and we will see how it goes. We have fairly similar feedback with regards to the car set up, so this helps a lot going forward.

What are your goals for the Roar Test at Daytona?

The main goal is to check the car is running well and set up properly for the race itself. We will see where we need to improve compared to our competitors and see what we can do to maximize our performance ready for the race. We will play around with different set ups and see where we are by the end. I think it's important we maximize the time available and concentrate on some race running and getting used to managing the traffic as best as possible. We know last years' winners will be strong, so it will be interesting.

Risi Competizione Press Release

World class line-up for Risi Competizione in Rolex 24 at Daytona

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jeudi 5 janvier 2017


Ferrari GT factory driver Sam Bird will be racing with Scuderia Corsa in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Briton will be behind the wheel of a Ferrari 488 GT3 in the twice-around-the-clock Florida endurance classic.

Sam Bird, who is one of the fastest GTE drivers around, and Scuderia Corsa will be competing in the GT Daytona (GTD) class, which is open to FIA GT3 spec cars.

At Daytona, Sam Bird will be sharing the Ferrari 488 GT3 with 2016 IMSA GTD champions Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen along with fourth driver Matteo Cressoni.


Last year the British ace competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship with the factory supported AF Corse squad.

Sam Bird and team-mate Davide Rigon shared the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE and took two GTE-Pro class wins in the opening round at Silverstone and the second one at Spa-Francorchamps.

Photos: Ferrari

Ferrari ace Sam Bird joins Scuderia Corsa for the Rolex 24 at Daytona

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mercredi 4 janvier 2017


IMSA has released the entry list of the upcoming Roar Before the Rolex 24, the final big test before the prestigious 24-hour event and opening round of the 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

No less than fifty-five cars will enter the three-day event mixing Prototypes and Grand Tourings. The GT Le Mans (GTLM) class is featuring eleven entries representing BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche.


Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing will be at Daytona with four Ford GTs. Joey Hand and Dirk Muller will share the #66 car with IndyCar star Sébastien Bourdais. Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon will be behind the wheel of the #67 Ford. Billy Johnson, Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla are the drivers of the #68 Ford GT. Andy Priaulx is the only confirmed driver with the #69 Ford GT in the Daytona test.

The 2016 GTLM champions from Corvette Racing will enter their factory Corvette C7.Rs. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen will be joined by Audi DTM star Mike Rockenfeller at the wheel of the #3 Corvette. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will share the #4 C7.R with former Audi LMP1 ace Marcel Fassler.


Porsche will have two brands new Porsche 911 RSRs under the Porsche GT Team banner.  Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner and Frederic Makowiecki will be driving the #911 Porsche. Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Richard Lietz will be sharing the #912 machine.

BMW will field two BMW M6 GTLMs. Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims will drive the #19 BMW and will have two BMW DTM stars as team-mates, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler. The sister #24 M6 GTLM will be driven by Martin Tomczyk, John Edwards, Kuno Wittmer and Nicky Catsburg .

Ferrari will be represented by a single 488 GTE from Risi Competizione. The #62 Ferrari willl be in the hands of works driver Toni Vilander.

Roar Before the Rolex 24 Entry List

Eleven GTLM cars in Daytona's Roar Before the Rolex 24

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mardi 27 décembre 2016


Formula Racing has confirmed that the team will not return to the European Le Mans Series next year. The privateer Ferrari squad from Denmark has decided to stop their GTE efforts.

The 2015 GTE champions competed this year with the a single Ferrari 458 Italia in all six ELMS events and took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well.

The AF Corse-supported car was driven by Mikkel Mac, Johnny Laursen and the 2016 IMSA GT Daytona champion Christina Nielsen, all of them from Denmark.

The three drivers had a mixed season in the ELMS with some ups and downs all season long. They were fast but faced a lot of bad luck in a highly competitive GTE field.

Forumula Racing will be focusing on the Ferrari Challenge in 2017.

Photo: Ferrari

Formula Racing stops its European Le Mans Series effort

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vendredi 23 décembre 2016


Ford Chip Ganassi will have a four-car assault on the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The American squad has confirmed its driver line-up for the twice around the clock Florida endurance classic and it's a stellar one.

The Chip Ganassi-owned team will be targeting the victory in the ultra competitive GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

The #66 Ford GT will be shared by GTE-Pro winners in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours, Joey Hand Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais.

The #67 Ford GT will be in the hands of Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon.

The remaining two Ford GTs will feature the team's regulars in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Olivier Pla, Stefan Muecke and Billy Johnson will be sharing the #68 Ford GT.

Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell, who won two races this season in FIA WEC, will be joined by IndyCar star Tony Kanaan who will debut the car at Daytona.

Photo: Ford

An all-star line-up for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona

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jeudi 15 décembre 2016


Laurens Vanthoor's American adventure has started at Daytona International Speedway. The new Porsche factory driver took part in the two-day IMSA test preparing for the 2017 season.

The Belgian ace was at the wheel of the #912 Porsche 911 RSR under Porsche GT Team banner. He shared the car with fellow factory driver Michael Christensen..

It was the first time for the 2016 FIA GT World Cup champion at the famous Florida circuit and a first time at the wheel of a GTE-spec race car as well.

Laurens Vanthoor, who missed Tuesday's two sessions, performed well with the brand new Porsche GT challenger in the ultra competitive GT Le Mans class.

His best time was 1:45.947, set in third test session on Thursday, not far from the much experienced GTLM stars.

He proved once again that he is one of the most talented GT drivers in international sportscar racing.

Laurens Vanthoor will be back to Daytona on January 6th-8th for the traditional Roar Before the Rolex 24. The traditional three-day test ahead of the opening round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Photo: Motorsport.com

Positive debut for Laurens Vanthoor with Porsche at Daytona

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Ford Chip Ganassi Racing's Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon were the fastest in GTLM in the fourth and final test session at Daytona International Speedway.

At the wheel of the #67 Ford GT, Richard Westbrook set the best time in class in the two-day test with 1:45.405.

Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnusses and Mike Rockenfeller were second fastest sharing the Corvette Racing-run #3 Corvette C7.R.

Dirk Muller and Joey Hand completed the top-three in GTLM driving the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66 Ford GT.

Toni Vilander was fourth quickest with the #62 Ferrari 488 GTE from Risi Competizione. Porsche's Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner were fifth with the #911 Porsche 911 RSR.

Bill Auberlen, Nick Catsburg, Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus were sixth with the #25 BMW M6 GTLM from BMW Team RLL.

The #4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler was seventh. The #912 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Laurens Vanthoor and Michael Christensen was eighth.

Daytona Fourth Session Results

Photo: Ford

Ford topped GTLM in Daytona tests

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