Lime Rock IMSA: Ford leads GTLM, Lexus heads GTD in first practice
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s NorthEast Grand Prix weekend opened with a Ford GT vs Porsche 911 battle brewing in GT Le Mans, as Lexus headed the GT Daytona field.
The #66 Ford GT driven by Dirk Muller turned a 50.924sec lap of the super-fast seven-turn 1.5-mile Lime Rock Park to go a mere 0.097sec faster than Nick Tandy’s best in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR.
Both the Porsches suffered minor off course excursions at Big Bend in the course of the session, but Earl Bamber’s fastest time in the #912 was still good enough for fourth, around quarter second off top spot but less than a tenth slower than the second Ford of Ryan Briscoe.
Jesse Krohn and Connor De Phillippi set the best times in the BMW M8s, 0.36 and 0.56 respectively off Muller’s Ford, while the two Corvettes were almost 0.8sec slower.
In GTD, Kyle Marcelli put the 3GT Racing Lexus RC F on top, just a couple of hundredths ahead of Alvaro Parente’s #86 Acura NSX, which Meyer Shank Racing has confirmed will run for the remainder of the season, as Parente’s co-driver Katherine Legge is a prime title contender.
Andy Lally slotted Magnus Racing’s Audi R8 into third place, ahead of the Turner Motorsports BMW M6, this weekend driven by Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley.
Paul Miller Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan had a small fire on pitlane due to unburnt fuel catching light in the exhausts, but not before Bryan Sellers had set fifth fastest time, while Lawson Aschenbach wheeled the second MSR Acura to sixth.
Lime Rock, IMSA first practice
|1||66|| Joey Hand |
|2||911|| Nick Tandy |
|GTLM||Porsche 911 RSR||51.021||0.097|
|3||67|| Ryan Briscoe |
|4||912|| Earl Bamber |
|GTLM||Porsche 911 RSR||51.166||0.242|
|5||24|| John Edwards |
|GTLM||BMW M8 GTE||51.286||0.362|
|6||25|| Connor de Phillippi |
|GTLM||BMW M8 GTE||51.490||0.566|
|7||3|| Jan Magnussen |
|8||4|| Oliver Gavin |
|9||14|| Kyle Marcelli |
|GTD||Lexus RC F GT3||52.303||1.379|
|10||86|| Alvaro Parente |
|GTD||Acura NSX GT3||52.308||1.384|
|11||44|| Andy Lally |
|GTD||Audi R8 LMS GT3||52.338||1.414|
|12||96|| Bill Auberlen |
|GTD||BMW M6 GT3||52.506||1.582|
|13||48|| Bryan Sellers |
|GTD||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||52.509||1.585|
|14||93|| Justin Marks |
|GTD||Acura NSX GT3||52.511||1.587|
|15||63|| Cooper MacNeil |
|GTD||Ferrari 488 GT3||52.567||1.643|
|16||58|| Patrick Long |
|GTD||Porsche 911 GT3 R||52.569||1.645|
|17||33|| Jeroen Bleekemolen |
|18||15|| Jack Hawksworth |
|GTD||Lexus RC F GT3||52.633||1.709|