Monday, January 8, 2018 at 11:24AM
Editor-in-Chief's Note: As our readers are well aware by now, we're proud to feature the photographic work of ace lens man John Thawley in . This past weekend was "The Roar Before the 24" - the annual pretest for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship prior to the season opening Daytona 24 Hour - and John was there to document it all. We're featuring the prototype competitors here in "Fumes" and we have more coverage from "The Roar" in Horizon. Enjoy. -PMD
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Hit by accusations that "The Roar" was a boondoggle that jacked-up racing budgets for the edification of IMSA and not much else, this year the "Roar Before The 24" Daytona test included a qualifying session on Sunday which established the garage and pit locations each team will use during the Rolex 24 At Daytona race weekend on Jan. 25-28. Leading the way in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class was Brazilian driver Felipe Nasr (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R) with a best time of 1 minute, 35.806 seconds (133.764 mph). Nasr was first in a top-four sweep for Cadillac, which is looking for its second consecutive Rolex 24 win after taking its debut race last year. Nasr will race full time in the WeatherTech Championship alongside 2016 Prototype champion Eric Curran in the No. 31 machine. For the Rolex 24, they welcome Mike Conway and this year’s Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner, Stuart Middleton, who is following in Nasr’s footsteps. Check out all of John Thawley's images from Daytona here
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Second quick in Prototype qualifying was Tristan Vautier (No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R) with a time of 1:36.037 (133.442 mph). Vautier is sharing the car with full-season teammate Matt McMurry and endurance driver Eddie Cheever III. “It was good,” Vautier said. “All the Caddy teams, we came here with a good spirit. We want to show IMSA what we have and we pushed flat out the whole test, just because we want to maximize everything for the race and we think it is the right thing to do. We all pushed each other. I think it’s good because it helps us all to learn about the car and go get those last tenths we can find in the setups. For us at Spirit of Daytona, it’s been good, because the first time the car hit the ground was January 2. Things have been pretty straightforward.”
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Felipe Albuquerque was third in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac he shares with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi with a best lap of 1:36.135 (133.306 mph).
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Renger van der Zande was fourth at 1:36.481 (132.828 mph) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac, co-driving with past IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, and defending race and series champion Jordan Taylor.
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Dane Cameron (No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi) rounded out the top five in the Prototype class. Cameron’s best lap was a 1:36.988 (132.188 mph) in the car he shares with Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud. Check out all of John Thawley's images from Daytona here.



Editor's Note: Many of you have seen Peter's references over the years to the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation (HERF), which he launched in 2007. For those of you who weren't following AE at the time, you can read two of HERF's press releases  and . And for even more details (including a link to Peter's announcement speech), check out the HERF entry on Wikipedia . -WG


Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, this week's image is from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Daytona Beach, February 5, 1967. The field lines up for the start of the Daytona 24 Hour behind the Dan Gurney/A.J. Foyt (No. 3 Shelby American Ford Mk II 427) and the Phil Hill/Mike Spence (No. 15 Chaparral 2F Chevrolet 396). Gurney and Foyt finished seventh; the Chaparral didn't finish due to suspension damage from an accident. Ferrari swept the top three places with Lorenzo Bandini/Chris Amon (No. 23 Ferrari 330 P3/P4) winning; 
Mike Parkes/Ludovico Scarfiotti (No. 24 Ferrari 330 P4) second; and Pedro Rodriguez/Jean Guichet (No. 26 North American Racing Team Ferrari 412 P) third. 

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