Whelen Engineering Cadillac Racing Leads in Early Practice Sessions

January 19, 2024Ramon Jones

Year 2 of the new GTP era has begun! The 2023 champions dominated the early practice sessions on day one of the Roar Before the Rolex 24. 2023 Driver’s champion Pipo Derani (Whelen Cadillac/Action Express Racing) set the fastest lap of the first two sessions with a 1m37.217. Derani led the No. 25 RLL Racing BMW M by 4 tenths of a second. Derani made the following comments to IMSA.com

“It’s just getting back to the rhythm,” Derani remarked. “Everyone has been on holidays – well not on holidays, but just trying to prepare for the comeback. Like I’ve said before, you’ve got to be on your toes. It was a good day, but you’ve got to keep digging.

“It’s great to be back,” he added. “I think the three of us (Derani and co-drivers Jack Aitken and defending Rolex 24 winner Tom Blomqvist) are running fairly similar, and we want the same thing from the car. We still have our program to go through, but we are ticking those boxes and hopefully we’ll be as ready as we can for the race week.”

Third fastest in the GTP class was the No. 06 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963. Porsche Penske is looking to get the season started off right after failing to break into the top 3 at last seasons finale at Road Atlanta.


Era Motorsports led the rejuvenated LMP2 class which sees a number of new comers in 2024. One new comer is the No. 33 Sean Creech motorsports car which competed in the LMP3 class last year before it was relegated to the VP Sportscar Racing Championship. The No. 33 Ligier LMP2 was second fastest in class ahead of the No. 88 Richard Mille AF Corse car in third.

With the LMP3 class being removed and the the LMP2 growing in size. It should make for some more clean racing come Rolex 24 as the LMP2 and GTP cars pull away from the GTD classes. Navigating traffic will still be a challenges for the faster classes considering the large number of entries in the GTD class. However, the focus no is to get the cars dialed in for qualifying. With four more practice sessions we exect faster lap times as we head toward Sunday’s qualifying


The No. 64 Ford Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT led the GTD Pro class in the second session. The Risi Competizione No. 62 Ferrari 296 GT3 was second in class followed by the No. 3 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R. In GTD, the No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R topped the field; splitting the top two GTD Pro cars in session two.

Practice Session three is set to begin tomorrow at 11:55am EST.