Story By: MATT CLEARY / ACTION EXPRESS RACING – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Whelen Engineering Racing began the defense of its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi title on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, with Felipe Nasr recording the fifth-fastest lap in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 qualifying.
Nasr ran a lap of 1:34.368-seconds in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R coming to take the checkered flag in the 15-minute session for the lead DPi class. A year ago, Nasr led the Roar Before the Rolex 24 qualifying with a lap of 1:35.806 in the Whelen Engineering Cadillac.
At stake during the qualifying session was the choice of garage and pit stall for the Rolex 24 event.
“Our Cadillac really felt good today,” Nasr said. “I’m not sure where we will find the speed we need to match some of the other cars but I know the Action Express guys will go back to the shop, put their heads down and get all they can from what we have, as they always do.”
Nasr and Eric Curran finished second as part of a 1-2 Action Express Racing finish in the 2018 Rolex 24 to begin their successful drive to the Prototype title. For the 2019 season opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26-27, they will be joined by 2016 event winner Pipo Derani.
Curran, who will return for the team in its defense of the Michelin Endurance Cup, ran the fastest lap for the team in the three-day Roar. He ran a best lap of 1:34.821 on Sunday morning, bettering Derani’s fastest lap on Saturday of 1:35.689.
Practice and official qualifying for the Rolex 24 will take place on Thursday, Jan. 24, with the race taking the green flag at 2:35 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26.