Road America IMSA: Taylor tops first practice in WTR Acura

Ricky Taylor was fastest driver in the 90min IMSA opening practice at Road America while Lamborghinis went 1-2 in the GTD class.

Road America IMSA: Taylor tops first practice in WTR Acura
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Cadillac DPi-V.Rs dominated the early running in first practice for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s penultimate round of the 2022 season for the Prototype class.

Earl Bamber in the #02 Chip Ganassi Racing entry was the first driver into the 1min50s, clocking a 1min50.835sec ahead of Pipo Derani in the Action Express Racing car, and then Sebastien Bourdais in the #01 Ganassi machine.

With 50 of the 90min session remaining, Tom Blomqvist interrupted this Cadillac 1-2-3 by slotting the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 into third, 0.22sec off top time before pitting.

An alarming off for High Class Racing’s Dennis Andersen saw the LMP2 Oreca flying off the track at Turn 11, requiring at least a new nose. That off brought out a red flag, but the flying of the green with 27mins remaining saw all DPi cars heading back out.

Seven minutes later, Ricky Taylor was into his stride – and found a relatively clear lap – to send the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura into second, 0.177sec behind Bamber’s benchmark and then moved convincingly to the top with a 1min50.539sec – almost three-tenths quicker than the nearest opposition.

His time wouldn’t be eclipsed, so Bamber/Alex Lynn and Derani/Olivier Pla stayed second and third, ahead of the Meyer Shank Acura, the #01 Cadillac of Bourdais/Renger van der Zande. Tristan Vautier set the JDC Miller MotorSports Cadillac’s fastest time but was almost 1.5sec slower than Taylor.

In GTD Pro, the #14 Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F held fastest time with Ben Barnicoat at the wheel, a 2min06.971sec, but in teammate Jack Hawksworth’s hands the car ground to a halt on track at Turn 12 and needed rescuing with 40mins remaining.

Closest at that stage was Matt Campbell in the Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 R, 0.15sec behind, just ahead of the leader in GTD’s pro-am class, local hero Aaron Telitz in the second Lexus that he shares with Frankie Montecalvo.

With 17mins to go, Robby Foley then outpaced all the GTD Pro and GTD runners in Turner Motorsports’ BMW M4 with a 2min06.920sec, with fastest times in Sector 2 – which is 73sec long at GTD pace – and Sector 3.

Montecalvo wasn’t going to take that laying down, and sure enough he took top spot by over quarter of a second from Foley.

But he stayed at the top for barely a minute before Jaden Conwright’s NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracan moved to P1, and then the similar Lambo of Carbahn Peregrine Racing driven by Robert Megennis shaded Conwright by a mere 0.071sec.

Connor De Phillippi in the works BMW M4 eventually shaded Foley’s best effort by 0.28sec to go fastest of the GTD Pro runners, while Antonio Garcia in the Corvette C8.R moved into third in class, behind Barnicoat’s earlier top time, and ahead of the Pfaff Porsche.

In LMP2, Ryan Dalziel was fastest for Era Motorsport ahead of Tristan Nunez, who has returned to PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport to replace Jonathan Bomarito in the #11 car.

Juan Pablo Montoya was third fastest for DragonSpeed ahead of Louis Deletraz in the Tower Motorsports car and the second PR1 Mathiasen entry of Josh Pierson.

Malthe Jakobsen’s Sean Creech Motorsport car topped LMP3 despite a couple of incidents, three tenths quicker than Riley Motorsports’ Felipe Fraga and Scott Andrews in the JDC Miller Motorsports machine.

Second practice begins at 3.15pm local (Central) time.

Full practice times to follow…

Cla Driver Class Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
DPi Acura DPi 29 1'50.539  
2 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
DPi Cadillac DPi 29 1'50.835 0.296
3 France Olivier Pla
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 35 1'51.051 0.512
4 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
DPi Acura DPi 28 1'51.055 0.516
5 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Sébastien Bourdais
DPi Cadillac DPi 18 1'51.095 0.556
6 France Tristan Vautier
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
DPi Cadillac DPi 31 1'52.000 1.461
7 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 31 1'52.147 1.608
8 United States Steven Thomas
United States Tristan Nunez
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 33 1'52.879 2.340
9 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 34 1'53.144 2.605
10 Canada John Farano
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 33 1'53.161 2.622
11 United States Patrick Kelly
United States Josh Pierson
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 29 1'53.993 3.454
12 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 33 1'54.780 4.241
13 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Malthe Jakobsen
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 20 2'00.439 9.900
14 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 27 2'00.736 10.197
15 Gerry Kraut
Australia Scott Andrews
LMP3 Duqueine D08 28 2'00.877 10.338
16 United States Dakota Dickerson
Josh Sarchet
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 25 2'01.307 10.768
17 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 23 2'01.353 10.814
18 United States Ari Balogh
Canada Garett Grist
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 27 2'01.649 11.110
19 United States Jarett Andretti
Colombia Gabby Chaves
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 27 2'02.369 11.830
20 Canada Orey Fidani
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
LMP3 Duqueine D08 28 2'02.607 12.068
21 United States James French
Australia Cameron Shields
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 10 2'02.962 12.423
22 United States Robert Megennis
United States Jeff Westphal
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 27 2'06.366 15.827
23 United States Jaden Conwright
Marco Holzer
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 28 2'06.437 15.898
24 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 28 2'06.509 15.970
25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United States John Edwards
GTD PRO BMW M4 GT3 23 2'06.637 16.098
26 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
GTD BMW M4 GT3 30 2'06.920 16.381
27 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
GTD PRO Lexus RC F GT3 15 2'06.971 16.432
28 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
GTD PRO Corvette C8.R GTD 30 2'07.019 16.480
29 Australia Matt Campbell
France Mathieu Jaminet
GTD PRO Porsche 911 GT3 R 25 2'07.121 16.582
30 United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 32 2'07.475 16.936
31 United States Ryan Eversley
Australia Aidan Read
GTD Acura NSX GT3 29 2'07.495 16.956
32 United States Ryan Hardwick
Belgium Jan Heylen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 31 2'07.720 17.181
33 United States Cooper MacNeil
Spain Daniel Juncadella
GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 30 2'07.865 17.326
34 United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Spain Alex Riberas
GTD PRO Aston Martin Vantage GT3 24 2'08.071 17.532
35 United States Mike Skeen
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 26 2'08.350 17.811
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