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Sebring 12H: Conway heads Cadillac 1-2 in first practice

Mike Conway sent the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R to the top of the times in opening practice for the 69th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, heading Chip Ganassi Racing’s similar machine.

#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi, DPi: Mike Conway, Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani

Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Conway lapped the 3.74-mile 17-turn course in 1min46.212sec over the course of 27 laps to lead Ganassi’s Renger van der Zande by 0.4sec by the end of the hour-long session.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura ARX-05 was third fastest in Dane Cameron’s hands, despite causing a red flag when it stopped on the front straight, while Tristan Vautier was fourth in the JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac.

Defending IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Prototype champion Ricky Taylor clocked fifth fastest in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura, albeit 1.2sec from Conway, while the AXR’s second entry, for only the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds, was fifth thanks to 2016 IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud.

The #55 Mazda that won last November’s Sebring 12H finished the opening session seventh.

Mikkel Jensen did a predictably strong job for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports in LMP2, topping the class with a best time just 2sec behind the DPi Mazda.

But no less impressive was the returning Guy Smith – in his first Sebring outing since 2013 – 0.8sec in arrears in the United Autosports entry, eclipsing third placed Thomas Merrill (WIN Autosport) by 1.8sec.

In GT Le Mans, Jordan Taylor’s best effort in the #3 Corvette C8.R – a 1min56.715sec – put him ahead of all the LMP3 entries, and 0.559sec ahead of Mathieu Jaminet in the WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Tommy Milner was third in the second Corvette, with the two BMW M8s completing the class.

Jeroen Bleekemolen (Riley Motorsports) and Colin Braun (CORE autosport) were class of the LMP3 field, just 0.075sec apart, but their Ligiers were very closely pursued by the chasing pack, the top five covered by just 0.4sec.

The irrepressible Bill Auberlen topped GT Daytona for Turner Motorsports (BMW M6 GT3) with Jack Hawksworth (Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3), Frank Perera (Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3), Earl Bamber (Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 R) and Maro Engel (Sun Energy1 Mercedes-AMG GT3) ensuring five different marques in the top five.

Second practice begins at 1.55pm local (Eastern) time.

Practice results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
United Kingdom Mike Conway
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 27 1'46.212  
2 01 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
New Zealand Scott Dixon
DPi Cadillac DPi 21 1'46.619 0.407
3 60 United States Dane Cameron
France Olivier Pla
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
DPi Acura DPi 20 1'46.925 0.713
4 5 France Tristan Vautier
France Loic Duval
France Sébastien Bourdais
DPi Cadillac DPi 23 1'47.160 0.948
5 10 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Alexander Rossi
DPi Acura DPi 20 1'47.446 1.234
6 48 United States Jimmie Johnson
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
France Simon Pagenaud
DPi Cadillac DPi 21 1'47.599 1.387
7 55 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Jonathan Bomarito
DPi Mazda DPi 22 1'47.969 1.757
8 52 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
United States Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 25 1'49.920 3.708
9 22 James McGuire
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
United Kingdom Guy Smith
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 23 1'50.745 4.533
10 11 United States Thomas Steven
United States Tristan Nunez
United States Thomas Merrill
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 20 1'52.384 6.172
11 8 Canada John Farano
France Gabriel Aubry
France Timothé Buret
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 24 1'52.486 6.274
12 18 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 4 1'54.957 8.745
13 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
GTLM Corvette C8.R 18 1'56.715 10.503
14 91 United States Jim Cox
United States Dylan Murry
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 20 1'56.917 10.705
15 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States George Kurtz
United States Colin Braun
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 19 1'56.992 10.780
16 83 United Kingdom Matthew Bell
United States Rodrigo Sales
Niklas Kruetten
LMP3 Duqueine D08 16 1'57.057 10.845
17 74 United States Gar Robinson
Australia Scott Andrews
United States Spencer Pigot
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 25 1'57.151 10.939
18 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Mathieu Jaminet
Australia Matt Campbell
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 22 1'57.274 11.062
19 33 Portugal Joao Barbosa
France Yann Clairay
United States Lance Willsey
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 25 1'57.335 11.123
20 4 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
GTLM Corvette C8.R 22 1'57.577 11.365
21 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
Austria Philipp Eng
Canada Bruno Spengler
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 27 1'57.710 11.498
22 38 Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Guatemala Mateo Llarena
Dan Goldburg
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 22 1'58.122 11.910
23 24 United States John Edwards
Finland Jesse Krohn
Brazil Augusto Farfus
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 23 1'58.167 11.955
24 7 United States Jim Norman
United States Oliver Askew
United States Austin McCusker
LMP3 Duqueine D08 21 1'59.072 12.860
25 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
Australia Aidan Read
GTD BMW M6 GT3 24 2'00.456 14.244
26 14 United States Aaron Telitz
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Kyle Kirkwood
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 21 2'00.663 14.451
27 19 South Africa Stephen Simpson
France Franck Perera
Germany Tim Zimmermann
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 24 2'00.966 14.754
28 99 United States Rob Ferriol
New Zealand Earl Bamber
United States Trenton Estep
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 26 2'01.140 14.928
29 75 Australia Kenny Habul
Germany Maro Engel
Canada Mikael Grenier
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 25 2'01.158 14.946
30 16 United States Patrick Long
Belgium Jan Heylen
United States Ryan Hardwick
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 23 2'01.240 15.028
31 1 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
United States Corey Lewis
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 22 2'01.661 15.449
32 9 Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Germany Lars Kern
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 20 2'01.735 15.523
33 28 Canada Daniel Morad
United States Michael de Quesada
United States Billy Johnson
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 18 2'02.053 15.841
34 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Zach Veach
United States Robert Megennis
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 22 2'02.094 15.882
35 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Acura NSX GT3 20 2'02.889 16.677
36 23 United Kingdom Ian James
Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 22 2'02.940 16.728
37 88 Denmark Christina Nielsen
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 24 2'03.881 17.669

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