Lance Stroll drove the Claritin/Target Ford EcoBoost Prototype for the very first time on Friday and went on to accumulate important mileage in the three-day “Roar Before The 24” that concluded today (8-10 Jan). The 17-year-old Canadian personally clocked up over 220-miles around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway – the world-famous track in Florida he had never previously visited let alone driven around.
Montreal-born Stroll is sharing the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing entry with Brendon Hartley (NZ), Andy Priaulx (GB) and Alex Wurz (A). All four drivers set similar competitive times behind the wheel of the 3.5-litre, 600-bhp Ford in the daily test sessions that featured 54-cars in preparation for the Rolex 24 At Daytona (30-31 Jan). Lance, who impressed his ultra-experienced team-mates and the Ganassi team, set the car’s fastest lap time in the final session on Sunday afternoon.
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Lance, a member of the Williams Martini Racing Young Driver Development Programme, is back at the DIS to make his sports car race début – and maiden 24 hour race – in the 54th running of the annual Rolex 24 At Daytona on Thursday 28 January for practice and qualifying.
He had this to say: “I sat in the Ford for the first time at the Ganassi raceshop in Indianapolis earlier in the week before running my first-ever laps around Daytona this weekend. It’s not a hugely challenging track but you have to give it respect – it’s still tricky. My bigger task is getting used to the car in such a short space of time. The [extra] weight, [more] power, and tyres [manufacturer] are all massively different to what I’m used to. With four drivers sharing the Ford, time behind the wheel is very limited, and so it’s a case of adapting as quickly as possible to all these factors. I was in the car for the first time on Friday and drove two stints on Saturday night – something else I’m not used to having only done one kart race in Las Vegas in the darkness four years ago. I completed the test with a good, long run on Sunday afternoon. Overall I’m very pleased with what I achieved, thoroughly enjoyed the experience and cannot wait to get back here for race week. “