Lime Rock IMSA: Ford leads GTLM, Lexus heads GTD in first practice

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Lime Rock IMSA: Ford leads GTLM, Lexus heads GTD in first practice
David Malsher
By: David Malsher
Jul 20, 2018, 4:44 PM

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 

Pos.#DriverClassChassisTimeGap
1 66 united_states  Joey Hand 
germany  Dirk Müller 
GTLM Ford GT 50.924  
2 911 united_kingdom  Nick Tandy 
france  Patrick Pilet 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 51.021 0.097
3 67 australia  Ryan Briscoe 
united_kingdom  Richard Westbrook 
GTLM Ford GT 51.080 0.156
4 912 new_zealand  Earl Bamber 
belgium  Laurens Vanthoor 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 51.166 0.242
5 24 united_states  John Edwards 
finland  Jesse Krohn 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 51.286 0.362
6 25 united_states  Connor de Phillippi 
united_kingdom  Alexander Sims 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 51.490 0.566
7 3 denmark  Jan Magnussen 
spain  Antonio Garcia 
GTLM Corvette C7.R 51.708 0.784
8 4 united_kingdom  Oliver Gavin 
united_states  Tommy Milner 
GTLM Corvette C7.R 51.723 0.799
9 14 canada  Kyle Marcelli 
austria  Dominik Baumann 
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 52.303 1.379
10 86 portugal  Alvaro Parente 
united_kingdom  Katherine Legge 
GTD Acura NSX GT3 52.308 1.384
11 44 united_states  Andy Lally 
united_states  John Potter 
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 52.338 1.414
12 96 united_states  Bill Auberlen 
united_states  Robby Foley 
GTD BMW M6 GT3 52.506 1.582
13 48 united_states  Bryan Sellers 
united_states  Madison Snow 
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 52.509 1.585
14 93 united_states  Justin Marks 
united_states  Lawson Aschenbach
GTD Acura NSX GT3 52.511 1.587
15 63 united_states  Cooper MacNeil 
united_states  Gunnar Jeannette 
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 52.567 1.643
16 58 united_states  Patrick Long 
denmark  Christina Nielsen 
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 52.569 1.645
17 33 netherlands  Jeroen Bleekemolen
united_states  Ben Keating 
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 52.592 1.668
18 15 united_kingdom  Jack Hawksworth 
germany  Mario Farnbacher 
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 52.633 1.709
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About this article

Series IMSA
Event Lime Rock
Location Lime Rock Park
Author David Malsher
Article type Practice report