Sebring 12 Hours: Castroneves leads opening practice

Acura Team Penske’s title aspirant Helio Castroneves grabbed fastest time in opening practice for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finale at Sebring International Raceway.

Sebring 12 Hours: Castroneves leads opening practice
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Lapping the legendary 17-turn 3.74-mile airport course in 1min49.360sec, the #7 Acura ARX-05 edged Sebastien Bourdais’ JDC Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R by just 0.035sec to earn top spot.

This pair were over 0.4sec clear of the field, but the competitive picture was blurred by a nine-minute-long red flag period caused by the need to recover the spun Performance Tech Motorsports LMP2 car of Patrick Byrne, leaving just five minutes on a crowded track for 31 cars to set a time.

Ex-IndyCar driver Matheus Leist made it two JDC-Miller Cadillacs in the top three, as he eclipsed the best time set by Ryan Briscoe in Wayne Taylor Racing’s similar Caddy. Briscoe and Renger van der Zande, who are again partnered this weekend by six-time and reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, lie just two points behind Castroneves/Ricky Taylor in the IMSA DPi championship fight.

Felipe Nasr’s Action Express Racing Cadillac was fifth ahead of the two Mazda RT24-Ps of Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis, while outgoing DPi champ Dane Cameron was eighth in the second Acura.

In LMP2, Simon Trummer’s PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry led Matt Bell’s Inter Europol car by one second.

The two Porsche 911 RSRs, in their final IMSA outing for the forseeable future, headed up GT Le Mans class, Fred Makowiecki 0.374sec faster than Laurens Vanthoor, who was a mere 0.021sec ahead of Connor De Phillippi’s BMW M8. The two Corvettes of Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor were 0.9 and 1.2sec off the ultimate pace, but this is likely unrepresentative.

The AIM Vasser-Sullivan Lexus RC Fs were first and third in the hands of Jack Hawksworth and Townsend Bell, split by the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R of Pat Long.

Andrew Davis produced his customary fine job to slot the Audi R8 of Hardpoint Racing into fourth, a mere 0.02sec faster than Lawson Aschenbach’s Riley Motorsports Mercedes-Benz and 0.035sec ahead of Roman De Angelis in the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage.

The second session begins at 2.35pm local (Eastern) time.

Session results:

Pos. # Drivers Class Car Laps Time Gap mph
1 7 BRA Hélio Castroneves
USA Ricky Taylor
USA Alexander Rossi
DPi Acura DPi 23 1'49.360   123.116
2 5 FRA Sebastien Bourdais
FRA Tristan Vautier
FRA Loïc Duval
DPi Cadillac DPi 20 1'49.395 0.035 123.077
3 85

BRA Matheus Leist
RSA Stephen Simpson

AUS Scott Andrews

DPi Cadillac DPi 25 1'49.828 0.468 122.592
4 10 HOL Renger van der Zande
AUS Ryan Briscoe
NZL Scott Dixon
DPi Cadillac DPi 18 1'49.934 0.574 122.473
5 31 BRA Felipe Nasr
BRA Pipo Derani
COL Gabby Chaves
DPi Cadillac DPi 23 1'49.957 0.597 122.448
6 55 USA Jonathan Bomarito
GBR Harry Tincknell
USA Ryan Hunter-Reay
DPi Mazda DPi 20 1'50.090 0.730 122.300
7 77 GBR Oliver Jarvis
USA Tristan Nunez
FRA Olivier Pla
DPi Mazda DPi 18 1'50.126 0.766 122.260
8 6 COL Juan Pablo Montoya
USA Dane Cameron
FRA Simon Pagenaud
DPi Acura DPi 20 1'50.337 0.977 122.026
9 52 USA Patrick Kelly
SUI Simon Trummer
USA Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 23 1'52.040 2.680 120.171
10 51 POL Jakub Smiechowski
USA Naveen Rao
GBR Matthew Bell
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 20 1'53.026 3.666 119.123
11 8 CAN John Farano
DEN Mikkel Jensen
DEN David Heinemeier Hansson
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 22 1'53.189 3.829 118.951
12 38 USA Don Yount
USA Patrick Byrne
USA Guy Cosmo
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 17 1'55.217 5.857 116.858
13 911

GBR Nick Tandy
FRA Frédéric Makowiecki

NZL Earl Bamber

GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 20 1'58.717 9.357 113.413
14 912 NZL Earl Bamber
BEL Laurens Vanthoor
SUI Neel Jani
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 22 1'59.091 9.731 113.056
15 25 CAN Bruno Spengler
USA Connor de Phillippi
USA Colton Herta
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 13 1'59.112 9.752 113.036
16 4 GBR Oliver Gavin
USA Tommy Milner
SUI Marcel Fässler
GTLM Corvette C8.R 22 1'59.617 10.257 112.559
17 3 ESP Antonio Garcia
USA Jordan Taylor
HOL Nicky Catsburg
GTLM Corvette C8.R 16 1'59.941 10.581 112.255
18 24 FIN Jesse Krohn
USA John Edwards
BRA Augusto Farfus
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 21 2'00.429 11.069 111.800
19 14 GBR Jack Hawksworth
USA Aaron Telitz
USA Kyle Kirkwood
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 18 2'02.961 13.601 109.498
20 16 USA Ryan Hardwick
USA Patrick Long
BEL Jan Heylen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 19 2'03.288 13.928 109.208
21 12 USA Frankie Montecalvo
USA Townsend Bell
USA Michael de Quesada
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 20 2'03.382 14.022 109.125
22 30 USA Rob Ferriol
USA Andrew Davis
GER Pierre Kaffer
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 21 2'03.418 14.058 109.093
23 74 USA Gar Robinson
USA Lawson Aschenbach
USA Marc Miller
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 19 2'03.438 14.078 109.075
24 23 GBR Ian James
CAN Roman De Angelis
GBR Darren Turner
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 19 2'03.473 14.113 109.044
25 44 USA Andy Lally
USA John Potter
USA Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 19 2'03.611 14.251 108.922
26 63 USA Cooper MacNeil
ITA Alessandro Balzan
USA Jeff Westphal
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 19 2'03.651 14.291 108.887
27 11 USA Richard Heistand
HOL Steijn Schothorst
FRA Franck Perera
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 19 2'03.730 14.370 108.818
28 86 GER Mario Farnbacher
USA Matthew McMurry
JPN Shinya Michimi
GTD Acura NSX GT3 20 2'03.748 14.388 108.802
29 48 USA Bryan Sellers
USA Madison Snow
USA Corey Lewis
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 18 2'03.949 14.589 108.625
30 57 USA Trent Hindman
CAN Mikhail Goikhberg
USA Joey Hand
GTD Acura NSX GT3 20 2'04.069 14.709 108.520
31 96 GBR Nick Yelloly
USA Robby Foley
USA Dillon Machavern
GTD BMW M6 GT3 16 2'05.159 15.799 107.575
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