Grand-Am's Rolex Series got the first of its two-day test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway under scorching conditions and similarly hot times.
With ambient temperatures reported north of 100 degrees, and track temps ranging anywhere from 147 to 156 degrees – numbers tweeted by Rolex 24 at Daytona winner Michael Shank – it was a hot first day of testing on IMS's 2.534-mile road course.
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, which nearly garnered its first win of the 2012 season last weekend at the Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen, led the Friday times in Daytona Prototype. The No. 99 “Red Dragon” Corvette DP of Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney clocked in at 1:24.833 and 107.534mph.
“Obviously it was a really good day,” said Gurney, who set the day's fastest lap. “The times are close [throughout our sessions]; we did some good work on the setup and got through a few good changes … so far so good. It is incredibly hot so we never ran any long runs, so that is still the giant question mark and maybe Saturday we will work on that.”
In GT, Autohaus's Camaro registered a 1:31.690 (99.492mph) to lead the production-based class. Jordan Taylor resumed with the team after a one-off drive for Stevenson Motorsports at Watkins Glen, as Autohaus missed the race. Taylor co-drove with his 2011 co-driver, Bill Lester.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge sessions were led – in the Grand Sport class and overall – by the No. 61 Roush Performance Mustang co-driven by Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr. They led the first and third sessions; their third-session effort was the best: 93.660 mph (1 minute, 37.399 seconds). The Street Tuner class' fast lap was turned by Chad McCumbee and Jason Saini (88.182/1:43.450) in the No. 03 CJ Wilson Racing Mazda MX-5, in the third session.
The series resumes for a second day of testing on Saturday in preparation for the July 27 race.