28-31 January, 2016, Daytona Beach, Florida USA 37, Nissan, BR01, P, Maurizio Mediani, Nicolas Minassian, Mikhail Aleshin, Kirill Ladygin ©2016, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA

Image credit: IMSA.

Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin overcame treacherously wet conditions to capture the Prototype class TOTAL Pole Award for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Aleshin ran a lap of 2:05.793 (101.882 mph) in the Nissan-powered No. 37 BR01 fielded by Russian-based SMP Racing. The Prototype debuted in 2015 ELMS competition and is racing in North America for the first time.

”I think the conditions were surprising for everyone,” Aleshin said. “During qualifying I was never sure while braking for any turn if I was going to be on the optimal line and not hitting the wall – but this is racing.

“You have to take risks sometimes. But at the same time, you’ve got to save the car and keep it in one piece. The race is the most important thing.”

Luís Felipe “Pipo” Derani backed up his fastest lap of the recent Roar Before the Rolex 24 test by running the second fastest lap in the Prototype class at 2:06.304 (101.469 mph) in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda Ligier JS P2.

Ozz Negri was third in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Tire Kingdom Honda Ligier JS P2, posting a best time of 2:07.432 (100.571 mph). He will be joined on the second row by Ricky Taylor, who turned a best lap of 2:07.966 (100.152 mph) in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Corvette DP.