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Michael Valiante Turns Fastest Lap of Three-Day Rolex 24 at Daytona Test

January 7th, 2013 at 9:30 AM
By Mark Eddinger

Michael Valiante in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley turned the fastest lap in the Daytona Prototype class at the "Roar Before the Rolex 24" at Daytona International Speedway. The three day Grand-Am Series testing session took place from Friday through Sunday in advance of the 51st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona which will be held on January 26th and 27th.

'IMG_4696' photo (c) 2008, The359 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Valiante turned his fast lap on Sunday at an average speed of 125.576 mph to lead the 17 Daytona Prototype teams at the test. He will be joined by Chris Cumming, Jorge Concalves and Gustavo Yacaman in the No. 6 MSR entry for the Rolex 24.

“I feel everyone hasn’t shown everything they’ve got at this point, but I’m confident we’ll be strong when we come back for the Rolex 24,” said Valiante

The second fastest lap of the test was run by Dane Cameron on Saturday in his Team Sahlen BMW/Riley. He will be joined in the No. 42 by Wayne Nonnamaker, Simon Pagenaud and Bruno Junqueira.

Last season A.J. Allmendinger anchored his Michael Shank Racing foursome to the win in the Rolex 24. He turned the third fastest lap of the weekend in the No 60 MSR Ford/Riley. John Pew, Justin Wilson and Marcos Ambrose joined Allmendinger at the test. Ambrose was filling in for the injured Ozz Negri. Negri was injured in an offseason bicycle training incident and it is still unknown if MSR will put Negri in the car for the Rolex 24 or if Ambrose will stay in the seat.

In the GT class Patrick Long turned the fastest lap of the test session with a lap of 118.045 mph. He will be joined in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche GT3 by Patrick Lindsey, Jason Hart, Spencer Pumpelly, and Daniel Graeff for the Rolex 24.

This Rolex 24 at Daytona will mark the debut of the Rolex Series GX class. Shane Lewis turned a lap of 110.324 mph to lead the class. He will be joined in the No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman by David Donohue, Dr. Jim Norman and Nelson Canache.

SPEED Channel will have live coverage of the Rolex 24 starting at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday January 26.

Tags: A.J. Allmendinger, Bruno Junqueira, Dane Cameron, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Prototype, John Pew, Justin Wilson, Marcos Ambrose, Michael Shank, Michael Valiante, Motorsports, Ozz Negri, Patrick Long, Rolex 24, Simon Pagenaud

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