Long Beach IMSA: Nasr leads AXR 1-2 in first practice

Action Express Racing's Felipe Nasr set the pace in first practice for this weekend's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Long Beach, narrowly beating teammate Filipe Albuquerque.

Ex-Sauber Formula 1 star Nasr set the quickest time in the final five minutes of the two-hour session in the #31 Cadillac DPi-V.R he shares with Eric Curran, dislodging Team Penske's Helio Castroneves from the top of the timesheets with a 1m13.720s.

The Brazilian subsequently improved to a 1m13.582s, moments before Albuquerque slotted into second in the #5 Cadillac with a time just 0.093s slower.

Castroneves led much of the latter half of the session in the #7 Acura ARX-05 DPi after surging to the head of the field with a little over 40 minutes remaining, but teammate Ricky Taylor was unable to improve when he took over the car for the final part of the session and was demoted to third.

Just 0.008s behind in fourth place was the best of the Joest-run Mazda RT24-Ps of Oliver Jarvis, while Jordan Taylor made it three Cadillacs in the top five in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing-run machine ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in the #6 Penske-Acura.

Sebring 12 Hour-winning squad Extreme Speed Motorsports could do no better than eighth and ninth with its pair of Onroak-Nissan DPis, behind the second of the Mazdas.

With DPi cars locking out the top nine positions, best of the LMP2 runners was the #99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca-Gibson whose best time was set by Stephen Simpson.

Ford leads GTLM

The Chip Ganassi Racing-run Ford GTs locked out the top two spots in the GT Le Mans division, with both Ryan Briscoe and Dirk Muller breaching the 1m18s barrier in the final stages.

Briscoe's best time in the #67 car was a 1m17.898s, enough to beat Dirk Muller's #66 car by 0.095s.

Porsche held the advantage for much of the session, but Earl Bamber's best effort of 1m18.012s in the #912 car proved only good enough for third in the final reckoning.

Nick Tandy caused one of two red flags in the #911 Porsche when he hit the barriers at Turn 8 with just over an hour to go, but the car ended up fourth-fastest in the hands of Patrick Pilet.

The two Corvette C7.Rs were fifth and sixth-fastest ahead of BMW's pair of RLL-run M8s, which brought up the 22-car field in the absence of the GT Daytona class.

Colin Braun caused the second stoppage mere minutes after the first when he tapped the wall at Turn 8 in the CORE autosport Oreca-Gibson LMP2.

Practice results:

Pos.#DriversClassChassisTimeGap
1 31 united_states Eric Curran 
brazil Felipe Nasr 
P Cadillac DPi 1'13.582  
2 5 portugal Filipe Albuquerque 
portugal Joao Barbosa 
P Cadillac DPi 1'13.675 0.093
3 7 brazil Helio Castroneves 
united_states Ricky Taylor 
P Acura DPi 1'13.735 0.153
4 77 united_kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
united_states Tristan Nunez 
P Mazda DPi 1'13.743 0.161
5 10 united_states Jordan Taylor 
netherlands Renger van der Zande 
P Cadillac DPi 1'13.968 0.386
6 6 colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 
united_states Dane Cameron 
P Acura DPi 1'14.190 0.608
7 55 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
united_states Jonathan Bomarito 
P Mazda DPi 1'14.319 0.737
8 22 brazil Pipo Derani 
united_states Johannes van Overbeek 
P Nissan DPi 1'14.577 0.995
9 2 united_states Scott Sharp 
united_kingdom Ryan Dalziel 
P Nissan DPi 1'14.653 1.071
10 99 canada Mikhail Goikhberg 
south_africa Stephen Simpson 
P ORECA LMP2 1'14.716 1.134
11 38 united_states James French 
united_states  Kyle Masson 
P ORECA LMP2 1'15.091 1.509
12 85 switzerland Simon Trummer 
united_states Robert Alon 
P ORECA LMP2 1'15.148 1.566
13 54 united_states Jon Bennett 
united_states Colin Braun 
P ORECA LMP2 1'15.417 1.835
14 52 colombia Gustavo Yacaman 
colombia Sebastian Saavedra 
P Ligier LMP2 1'15.747 2.165
15 67 australia Ryan Briscoe 
united_kingdom Richard Westbrook 
GTLM Ford GT 1'17.898 4.316
16 66 united_states Joey Hand 
germany Dirk Müller 
GTLM Ford GT 1'17.993 4.411
17 912 new_zealand Earl Bamber 
belgium Laurens Vanthoor 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'18.012 4.430
18 911 united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
france Patrick Pilet 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'18.046 4.464
19 4 united_kingdom Oliver Gavin 
united_states Tommy Milner 
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'18.844 5.262
20 3 denmark Jan Magnussen 
spain Antonio Garcia 
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'19.009 5.427
21 25 united_states Connor de Phillippi 
united_kingdom Alexander Sims 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'19.619 6.037
22 24 united_states John Edwards 
finland Jesse Krohn 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'19.958 6.376
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About this article
Series IMSA
Event Long Beach
Track Streets of Long Beach
Drivers Felipe Nasr
Teams Action Express Racing
Article type Practice report