Pole winner for Rolex 24 qualifier fails inspection; Ganassi leads night session

Sport

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — The No. 31 Cadillac that won the pole position for the Rolex 24 qualifying race was among three cars with an inspection failure Saturday night.

That moved the No. 55 Mazda into the top starting spot for Sunday’s Motul 100. The 100-minute race will set the starting grid for the 59th Rolex 24, the first qualifying race in the sports car classic’s history.

After Felipe Nasr qualified first in Action Express’ No. 31, IMSA ruled the car was underweight. The No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing (rear wing and rear bodywork out of compliance) and the No. 51 of Rick Ware Racing-Eurasia in LMP2 (rear wing) also had their qualifying times disallowed. Both had qualified fifth in class.

The trio of cars will be moved to the rear of their classes to start the Motul 100, which will feature two drivers in each entry.

Nasr and co-driver Pipo Derani (whose No. 31 team will be joined by Chase Elliott and Mike Conway in the Rolex 24) will start sixth of the seven DPi cars. Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque will start seventh in WTR’s No. 10.

Two of the three disqualified cars coincidentally had NASCAR connections: Cup Series champion Elliott is in the No. 31, and Cody Ware and Austin Dillon are among the four drivers in the No. 51.

The disqualifications were announced shortly after a two-hour Saturday night practice that was paced by the No. 01 Cadillac of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Kevin Magnussen, who is moving full time into the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this season from Formula One, turned the fastest lap of 1 minute, 35.412 seconds, which put him barely ahead of Conway’s 1:35.452.

Kamui Kobayashi made it a sweep of the top three for Cadillac on the speed chart for the fourth session of the Roar before the Rolex. The test session concludes with a 10 a.m. warmup Sunday and the 2 p.m. qualifying race.