For the first time since the first privateer GTP team joined the IMSA WeaherTech SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca last May, a Porsche 963 from outside the Porsche Penske Motorsport camp has led an official session, and the two privateers were one-two in the fourth Roar Before the 24 session at Daytona.

Phil Hanson was the quickest with a 1m35.216s (134.6mph) lap in the No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports 963, 0.113s better than Neel Jani in the No. 5 Proton Competition Porsche. Hanson’s time was 0.001s better than Pipo Derani’s time from yesterday that had been the previous best lap of the weekend.

“The JDC boys did a really good job of running out with a very strong package this morning and I think that shows in both practice sessions,” Hanson said. “ were very fast in the morning when my teammates Richard and Ben and Tijmen drove, and it also translated to the afternoon. It was interesting to see how it might change as the track temps came up a bit with still being on the sort of softer compound. But happy days.”

It was another run in the top three for Connor De Phillippi in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW. De Phillippi was followed by two Cadillacs, Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R leading Tom Blomqvist in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac Racing entry.

Ben Keating topped LMP2 as United Autosports took first and sec ond in the session. Keating’s 1m39.047s (129.39mph) lap was 0.047s faster in the No. 2 ORECA than teammate Paul Di Resta in the No. 22.

“It’s early, obviously, in the process of going through this event,” said Di Resta. “It’s relatively new to us. We had a test here recently where we got on top of some stuff, but we’re here just trying to learn as much as we can try and get our numbers together to process what we can between the break of the Roar and the race, and certainly come back and try and fight very strong in front of the field. But it’s certainly looking like we’re near the top. Not quite sure where everybody else falls into that, but I think we’d be naive in the sense that we’re just concentrating on ourselves trying to make the best possible car with the philosophy…and hopefully that will enable us to try to battle for the win.”

Connor Zilisch moved the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA to third on the time sheet with his final flying lap, posting a 1m39.343s. Mikkel Jensen in the No. 11 TDS Racing ORECA and Joao Barbosa in the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier were fourth and fifth.

Three Porsches topped GTD and the GT class overall, Klaus Bachler posting the best time of 1m45.799s (121.35mph) for MDK Motorsports in the No. 86 911 GT3R that was good for the best GT time of the weekend so far. Trent Hindman was 0.191s back in the No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche, followed by Fred Makowiecki in the No. 120 Wright Motorsports car at 1m45.999s.

“I would definitely take it if next Sunday we would end up in this position,” stated Bachler. “But yeah, it was a good session for us. The only problem is it’s quite cold today. It was much warmer yesterday, and it looks like the weather forecast for next weekend for the 24 is a lot warmer so…it was a good session for us and the car felt really good.”

Dennis Olsen was the first non-Porsche in GTD with the No. 55 Proton Competition Ford Mustang GT3, with Kei Cozzolino in the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 completing the top five.

Mario Farnbacher led GTD PRO for Heart of Racing, the first time this weekend that the team has had its No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo at the top. Farnbacher had a 1m46.066s lap to best Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 64 Ford Multimatic Motorsports Mustang GT3 by 0.144s. Rockenfeller’s teammate in the No. 65 Mustang, Dirk Mueller, was third at 1m46.320s.

Daniel Serra (No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296) and Laurin Heinrich (No. 77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R) were fourth and fifth. Two GTD PRO cars didn’t make it out during the session, both undergoing engine changes – the No. 3 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Z06 GT3.R and the No. 60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracán.

Up next: The first night session of the Roar, a two-hour test beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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