LEXUS TEAM FEATURING NASCAR CHAMPION KYLE BUSCH REBOUNDS AFTER MISSING QUALIFYING
MERCEDES-AMG GT TEAM WINS BMW ENDURANCE CHALLENGE
58TH ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA TAKES GREEN FLAG AT 1:40 P.M. SATURDAY
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2020) – Wayne Taylor Racing, trying to defend its title with a reconfigured driver lineup, returned to the forefront at the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, leading the final practice for Saturday’s 58th running of the 24-hour endurance classic at Daytona International Speedway that opens the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Kamui Kobayashi led the session with a lap of 1 minute, 35.340 seconds (134.424 mph) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi, topping the headlining Daytona Prototype international class. Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande are returning WTR drivers, joined at this year’s Rolex 24 by newcomers Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon; Dixon is one of six former Indianapolis 500 champions in the field.
“I’m very happy with how the car has felt during the practice sessions [but] the team built a great car for the race which is very important,” Kobayashi said. “We’re going to fight to win … we’ve worked very hard to get to this point.”
Another champion in the field – two-time and reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch – was back on track Friday along with his No. 14 Lexus RC F co-drivers, Jack Hawksworth, Michael De Quesada and Parker Chase. With Hawksworth driving, the No. 14 posted the seventh-fastest time in the production-based GT Daytona (GTD) class, at 1:47.310 (119.429). The team opted out of Thursday’s qualifying due to an engine change. The Lexus returned for Thursday’s night practice and had the 11th-fastest GTD lap.
Busch is racing in the Rolex 24 for the first time at the track where he will try to win the DAYTONA 500 for the first time on Feb. 16.