Ricky Taylor, at the wheel of the #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 he shared in the qualifying race with Filipe Albuquerque, crossed the line to take victory to qualify on pole for the 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Second, with a gap of nearly eight seconds caused by a spin on the final lap, was Richard Westbrook in the #5 JDC Miller Motorsports Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi.
Third overall was the #48 Ally Cadillac driven by Kamui Kobayashi.
Wayne Taylor was delighted to start the season on the top step of the podium.
“I’m really excited!” said Taylor. “We’ve had a tough weekend and the race certainly wasn’t easy. Westbrook was pushing really hard but Ricky kept him off and won the race and that’s all I care about!”
In LMP2 the win went to the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports of Mikkel Jensen and Ben Keating, Jensen taking the chequered flag just over 20 seconds ahead of Jonathan Bomarito in the sister #11 ORECA he shared with Steven Thomas.
Taking the final podium position in the LMP2 class was the #68 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA piloted by Renée Rast in the car he shared with François Heriau.
“It was really fun to watch,” said Ben Keating, commenting on the battle in the DPi class. “I’d say luckily our race was a little bit less exciting. For us we had enough of a gap that we weren’t too concerned about it in the LMP2 class, but golly! Richard drove his tail off. He tried to pull a Ricky Taylor in Turn One on Ricky Taylor and that was fun for me to watch also!”
The LMP3 class saw victory go to the #36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 of Jarett Andretti and, driving the final stint, Josh Burdon. Second in class was the #6 Muelhlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 of Moritz Krantz while the class podiums were completed by the #13 AWA Duqueine with Kuno Wittmer driving the final stint.
The GTD Pro class, on the occasion of the first time that the new GTD class had been contested, saw the class win go to the #63 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Andrea Caldarelli with Mirko Bortolotti driving the second stint to take the chequered flag less than half a second ahead of Alessio Picariello in the #79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche.
The class podium was completed by the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche of Felipe Nasr and Matthieu Jaminet.
“Yes, it was good,” said Andrea Caldarelli. “I have never started from pole position for this race and that is something good. It is also more rewarding because this is a brand new category so I’m very proud to gain this victory.”
The win in the GTD class went to the Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Russell Ward and, taking the chequered flag, Lucas Auer. Finishing second in class was Paul Holton in the #59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3.
The 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona gets underway at 1.40pm local time on Saturday January 29.
Full qualifying report to follow.