We had one more practice session prior to the race and it started later that night at 8:00pm. It was the most important session of the day because it was the closest we were going to get to testing under race conditions. I immediately went out and did my qualifying lap times on a used set of tires. This was partly due to the cooler temperatures and partly due to my getting used to the improved braking performance of the Porsche. Joe and Jay drove the car after me on the same set of tires and both thought it was quite good. Joe turned his fastest time of the day, and Jay came close to equaling his best time on a set of tires with a full race stint on them. We ended up quickest in the session, and barring a drastic change in conditions, decided not to make any changes to the car prior to the race.
Thursday wasn't nearly as hot as the previous day and as the race approached we got some wind gusts and droplets of rain. There was plenty of time to sit around and contemplate the weather because the race didn't begin until 11:00pm. It was a 250 mile event with a two hour and forty-five minute time limit.
I got off to a good start and took the lead entering turn one. I had to slow down through the first few turns while some of the Daytona Prototypes directly in front of me got their bearings, and this resulted in a few challenges from behind, but I held them off and was in the clear by the infield kink section. As I approached the west horseshoe (turn five) we went full course yellow. I had to slow to avoid some Daytona Prototypes that were parked in the middle of the turn, but everyone seemed to reorganize themselves until we rounded the corner and I got slammed from behind by another GT car. The impact caved in the left side of the rear bumper and I had a vibration after that from where the bumper rested on the exhaust, but it didn't affect the performance of the Porsche so it was never really an issue.