Vautier lapped the 2.35-mile course in 1min21.588sec to edge Ricky Taylor’s best effort in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 by just 0.096sec.
Impressively, former F1 driver Kevin Magnussen, new to this track, was less than 0.2sec off top spot in Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadillac, and ahead of the similar car of Action Express Racing, driven by Pipo Derani.
Harry Tincknell’s last-gasp flyer in the Mazda RT24-P landed him fifth spot, 0.38sec from P1, but ahead of the Meyer Shank Racing Acura of Dane Cameron.
The two Corvette C8.Rs, who aren’t racing for points this weekend, finished the session 0.23sec apart, Nick Tandy ahead of Antonio Garcia.
In GT Daytona, Compass Racing’s Acura NSX finished up top, courtesy of a late scorcher by Mario Farnbacher, a 1min30.932 keeping him 0.35sec clear of the Carbahn Peregrine Audi R8 of Richard Heistand.
The Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F of Jack Hawksworth was third ahead of Bryan Sellers in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan. However, the PMR Lambo was the cause of a late red flag when it came to a smoky halt at Turn 3 while Sellers’ co-driver Madison Snow was at the wheel.
The next session begins at 12 noon local (Eastern) time.